Change is very, very hard.

Spoken like a certain Texas college football coach... yet most of us would have to admit that’s true. And, along with death and taxes, it’s a certainty in this life.

Starting Feb. 1, Coastal Bend Publishing Company is purchasing the five newspapers owned by Beeville Publishing Company.

The Atkins and Latcham families have owned the Beeville newspaper (first the Picayune and then the Bee-Picayune) for 125 years. The fourth-generation publisher brothers have been employed here for about one-third of the newspaper’s existence.

So, yes, it will be quite the transition, but we realize that the community journalism playing field has changed – dramatically.

As stated in our front page story, it’s time for new ownership, new ideas and new voices. It’s time for a change.

The new coaches, ahem, the new owners, with McElvy Media Group, are much better equipped to deal with the challenges facing community newspapers in the 2020s.

“As we begin our work here, our first job is to make sure the business model of these newspapers is sustainable,” Jonathan McElvy said. “The economics of newspapers are drastically different than they were even five years ago, and our chief priority is to ensure this community has a viable news product that is relevant, informative and surprising to our readers every week. 

“To do that, our company and our managers will be entrenched in this community; we’ll work to maintain and build our reputation as a trusted source of information, and we will always ask for the feedback and support of the readers and businesses who rely on our role as leaders in our community.”

Employing teams of specialists, they will have a much stronger game plan for the future. 

Dispensing with the editorial “we,” Jeff realizes the business models of a decade, even five years, ago are no longer effective. And, as for his older brother, the 1970s are calling and want their page design back.

As a point of pride, though, they note the Beeville newspaper’s 133-year run will continue, albeit under new management. It’s still the oldest commercial business in town.

However, we are excited about the possibilities with the new owners and will be cheering for their success. 

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Continuing with the theme of change, one only has to look at other stories appearing in this edition.

Trace Morrill took the oath of office Monday to begin duties as the new county judge. 

He is replacing former County Judge Stephanie Moreno, who resigned her position Friday to accept a position as executive director of the South Texas Energy and Economic Roundtable. (She still will reside here and be in a place to help her hometown with economic development.)

Administering the oath to an emotional Morrill was District Judge Starr Bauer, who advised him to retain his wit and always be honest and possess integrity.

That will not be a difficulty for this energetic, young, problem-solving  attorney, who said he will continue practicing law here only “to the extent there are no conflicts to duties or responsibilities.”

He already had to step down as a trustee at Coastal Bend College as that would have been a conflict, serving on the boards of two local taxing entities. Replacing him will be Bill Whitworth.

Whitworth, another genuinely good guy and well-known business leader, has a long background in the financial industry. He was named Jan. 14 to fill Morrill’s seat.

“I am excited for the opportunity to work with the Board of Trustees and President (Justin) Hoggard at Coastal Bend College,” Whitworth said. “I pledge to continue the positive direction created by the existing trustees.”

We believe these changes will lead to beneficial results for our community.