I’m going to exercise my editor’s prerogative and take a few minutes to give you an update from the Pacific Coast Business Times newsroom.
Last year the Business Times began to reap the benefits of longevity in the marketplace. We are now the regional publication with recognized expertise in business and finance in our three-county circulation area. We are no longer an upstart.
After 12 years of operation with yours truly as principal owner, our news organization has been under the same management structure longer than many print, television, radio and certainly online media companies in the region. We are the incumbents.
Continuity and expertise mean that our brands are strong and getting stronger. Our eight events, including Top Women in Business, 101 One Hundred, Spirit of Small Business, Fastest-Growing Companies and 40 under 40, are now recognized as signature gatherings and networking opportunities.
We’ve also made a number of successful leadership changes. Publisher Linda le Brock has completed her first full year of running our sales and business operations, and she has produced some of the best results in our history. She’s given the Business Times an infusion of energy, social media smarts and marketing savvy.
We also have the largest business news department between Los Angeles and the Bay Area.
Last year we promoted Stephen Nellis to senior editor and he has begun taking over editing and story development responsibilities. Marlize van Romburgh was promoted to managing editor, a role that involves guiding our production processes and leading the way on digital initiatives. Both of them also continue to cover their respective news beats.
Last summer, we hired Dara Barney, a gifted journalism graduate of the University of Idaho, to the newly created position of Research Director/Special Reports Editor. She is in charge of all of our special sections, our Top 25 lists and our public records. Dara, born in Camarillo and raised in the Bay Area, has California roots. You’ve already begun to see her contributions in our vastly improved Who’s Who sections and new Top 25 lists.
And with talented Loyoyla Law School grad Dana Olsen covering health care, hospitality, higher education and agribusiness, we think we have the waterfront pretty well covered.
For 2013 we are making continuity a major theme.
Our first event, the Family Business & Closely Held Company awards, will again be held at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach in March. It will be a luncheon, to better accommodate folks traveling from Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo County.
We’ll be expanding both of our new events from last year. Latino Business Awards had a spectacular debut, and we’re looking to add new awards categories. Champions in Health Care will add a keynote speaker and possibly a panel of local experts to address the dramatic changes taking place under the Affordable Care Act.
We will be looking for new partnerships to expand our growing circulation base. One of our newest initiatives provides a single subscription to each of the more than 100 sponsors of the San Luis Obispo Economic Vitality Corp.
And finally, our support for nonprofits remains unwavering. Last year we devoted well in excess of $250,000 in media sponsorship to support our major universities, economic forecast projects, chambers of commerce and organizations such as MIT Enterprise Forum, Gold Coast Venture Forum and VCEDA’s Business Outlook Conference. But we also support United Way, Red Cross, FoodShare, Corporate Philanthropy Partners and many other nonprofits.
Speaking of partnerships, we also are happy to contribute a daily news and regional stock market update to our friends at KCLU, the NPR station for Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
To borrow a line from Frank Sinatra, 2012 was a very good year. And we’re eagerly looking forward to 2013.
• Contact Editor Henry Dubroff at [email protected]