Though we – Chip and Jeff Latcham – own the Beeville Publishing Co. and produce the Beeville Bee-Picayune, the Karnes Countywide, The Progress serving Live Oak and McMullen counties and the Refugio County Press, each operates under its own editor in its own county. By that, we mean you won’t be seeing more columns from us, if ever again.
We want our editors and staffs at each locale to respond to the needs of their counties without influence from our home office in Beeville. So each publication is unique to the communities it serves.
We are greatly excited about this new venture into Karnes with our old friend, Joe Baker, at the helm. We’ve known Joe and worked with him for more than a decade while printing the Countywide and then his Karnes County Times.
We’ve admired his work and enjoyed his company at press conventions throughout the years. The South Texas Press Association – of which Joe is a past president – is a tight-knit family affair, so our admiration for Joe is rooted in familiarity and is sincere: so much so that we’ve tried to hire him on several occasions.
The thing is, Joe didn’t want to leave Karnes County. His love for his communities is also sincere and we appreciate that as longtime community newspaper publishers.
So when we were approached about purchasing the Karnes Countywide, we were only interested if Joe would sell us the Karnes County Times too and come join our team. We’ve always thought he’d be a great fit in our view of community journalism.
So who are these Latcham fellows, you may wonder? Well, we’re two brothers who are fourth-generation country publishers. Our great-grandfather, Thomas R. Atkins, had the good sense to trade his hotel in Skidmore for the Beeville Picayune newspaper in 1894. That may well be the best trade anyone in the family ever made, judging from the current state of the hotel industry in Skidmore.
Both Latchams have journalism degrees from the University of Texas and work as co-publishers, divvying up projects as talents require.
Many of you in Karnes County have actually used our services for years. We printed the Countywide from its inception up until recent years, and printed the Karnes City Citation and Kenedy Advance-Times before that. If you’ve ordered commercial printing from the Countywide offices, we’ve been printing everything from business cards to invoices and letterheads for years for Karnes County customers. In fact, some of us old-timers around here can remember doing work for Carter Snooks. Our Action Printing division has been putting the ink to paper for Karnes customers for decades but without our name on the invoices.
The counties we already serve share much in common with Karnes County, including the lack of coverage from the big daily newspapers and television stations from surrounding cities. Often it seems they only show up in our communities when there’s been some heinous event.
Toward that, one of the things we’re most excited about is adding Karnes County to our regional website, www.mySouTex.com. It’s a website with stories from all our counties, all our communities. It brings you content from our publications including the good news and events that make small-town life special in our part of the world. It’s all free and highly interactive. Readers can share their photos, blogs, comments or add events to community and regional calendars of events. Take a moment to check out www.mySouTex.com. You can go to the Karnes County pages or explore the region. We think you’ll find we all have much in common and of shared interest.
So after years of printing everything from business cards to newspapers, we are excited to be in Karnes County under our own name. And we’re committed to producing a quality community newspaper that strives to be fair. We’re sure we have the right guy in Joe Baker to do this.
There are many moving parts to starting one newspaper – let alone merging two – and we’re working overtime to ramp this up quickly and smoothly. We hope the bumps are few for you.
If we’re missing something, let us know. Our commitment is always to get the story right.