Welcome to the family, Windsor Weekly

Published 9:19 pm Saturday, March 28, 2015

One of the most exciting things about my time at the Suffolk News-Herald has been watching (and participating in) the launch of a variety of new products to serve our community.

Suffolk Living magazine, for example, has been a great success, judging by the interest from advertisers and the comments of readers. I admit that I was skeptical at first (it’s kind of the default position for most newspaper editors), but I’ve been pleasantly surprised both at the magazine’s popularity and at how much fun it has been to produce.

We’ve also launched an assortment of new special sections during my six years on the SNH staff, and it’s always interesting to plan content, design and execution for such new ventures.

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Note that I’ve used the words “exciting” and “interesting.”

My word choice might put you in mind of the apocryphal blessing/curse: “May you live in interesting times.”

The dual meaning is intentional. Every new product means there’s another layer of work, a new set of duties to be juggled and delegated and a new set of deadlines to be managed. There’s a slew of headaches involved with each one, but when they’re finished and on the streets, the feeling of accomplishment makes it easy to forget all the frustration and lost sleep.

That’s how much of the staff at the Suffolk News-Herald and its Franklin sister paper, The Tidewater News, felt on Saturday as a photo sent via group text message arrived on the cellphones of staffers all over the area.

The photo showed a blue-and-white news rack with the premiere edition of Windsor Weekly pressed against the front glass. The new newspaper was printed late Friday and delivered to locations throughout that town Saturday morning.

Windsor Weekly will celebrate the unique charm of that town and give merchants there a way to reach Windsor residents with messages about their businesses and products. As important will be the community focus turned on a town that’s long been stuck in the middle of newspapers with coverage areas that don’t quite extend to its borders.

Stephen Cowles, whom many Suffolk News-Herald readers will remember from his days with this paper, has been named the managing editor for the new weekly publication. He has been working for some time as a reporter at The Tidewater News, providing occasional help at the SNH when we’ve been too shorthanded to cover an important event. Cowles has a solid foundation of community journalism and will serve Windsor Weekly’s readers well.

Both the SNH and TN have roles to play in producing this free publication, and both are likely to run occasional stories from our new sister paper. But in our case, those stories will be the ones that have some Suffolk connection or impact. Just as Windsor’s paper will serve the people of Windsor, the Suffolk News-Herald will continue, as it always has, serving the people of Suffolk.

Nonetheless, we’re pleased to welcome Windsor Weekly to the family. We hope you’ll check it out next time you’re headed west.