By now, you have seen the news either on the front page of the newspaper or online: this is the last edition of The Progress that will be published as a part of Beeville Publishing Company.
As of Saturday, The Progress becomes a part of Coastal Bend Publishing, a part of the McElvy Media Group.
I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Jeff and Chip Latcham and wish them the best.
They are some of the best people I’ve had an opportunity to get to know, and I am thankful to have had the chance to work with them.
While they won’t be involved directly with the newspapers anymore, I know they will continue to be strong contributors to the community.
Of all the newspapers in Beeville Publishing, only the Beeville Bee-Picayune had a longer connection with the Latchams than The Progress. They had owned this newspaper since 1998.
One thing that won’t change is our commitment to bring you the best news, sports, features and entertainment possible.
It is an honor to be your newspaper, and I am fortunate to be editor of The Progress. My feelings about that certainly are not any different with new ownership.
I had the opportunity to talk with the Jonathan McElvy, the chief executive officer for the new owners, McElvy Media Group, as he stopped by during visits to each of the newspapers in Beeville Publishing — which will soon become Coastal Bend Publishing.
Jonathan and I have a similar background in our strong commitment to community news.
Early in our newspaper careers, Jonathan and I both worked for Boone Newspapers. He was in Alabama and I was in Waxahachie and Stephenville, Texas.
One thing about working for Boone is that you definitely learn the news business inside and out, and they emphasize all local news, all the time. The commitment to doing the best in your community can only be strengthened by working for a company like that.
The things you learn working for small community newspapers hopefully carry on in a positive way.
With new owners there will be inevitable changes in the newspaper, and that will likely result in mixed reactions.
Some of the changes will probably be welcomed and appreciated, while others will take an adjustment, just like anything else in life.
Just what those changes might be is also something I am still learning, so we’ll be experiencing those together.
One thing Jonathan told me is that he wants to see better packaging of our content (stories and photos), and I’m definitely on board with that.
If you look back at what newspapers looked like 40-plus years ago, it was a totally different world back then.
We have some copies of The Progress from 1977 and 1979, and the design has changed incredibly. Plus, there was no color in the paper back then, only black and white.
Jonathan also mentioned he wants to see improved coverage of local businesses.
That sounds fantastic to me. We had already started doing features on local restaurants from time to time, but that’s only one type of business.
It will be exciting to shine the spotlight on other types of businesses, as well.
Another change you will probably begin to see in the coming weeks is expanded regional coverage.
While we will still emphasize Live Oak and McMullen County — with George West, Three Rivers and Tilden at the forefront — you will begin to see more stories from our neighboring counties, as well.
That makes sense. Although Live Oak and McMullen counties are our home, we have strong connections to the surrounding area, as well.
As for what else might change, and what will stay the same, stay tuned. Hopefully we will be bringing much of the best of both worlds, a blend of what is comfortable and familiar along with some exciting new things, as well.
The best news is that our newspapers will continue to serve our local readers, and that’s a sacred responsibility to which we remain fully dedicated.
Jeff Osborne is editor of The Progress. A Texan since 1973, he has worked for Texas newspapers for 25 years.