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Ennis Daily News

Change can be a great thing

Change is never easy, and it’s not always bad.
Recently, my wife and I made the decision to advance my career and move 500 miles from home to Ennis, fulfilling my dream of publishing a local daily newspaper.
In my short time in Ennis, there have been many adjustments to make. From living in a hotel until we find housing, to learning the layout of the land, we’ve been exhausted but excited. Most importantly as I begin making a name for myself here in Ennis the changes have been exciting. Today marks my children’s first day in Ennis after staying with my sister in Austin for the past week. That will be the real test, but my crew is used to it.
Five years ago, I earned my first publishing gig at The Farmerville Gazette in North Louisiana. After three years learning the ropes of a weekly newspaper, I was contacted by a group of newspapers in Mississippi to run an operation in Hattiesburg. During the past two years, I published two weekly newspapers — The Lamar Times and The Petal News — along with a shopper and a society magazine — Signature Magazine. Those two years proved to be very beneficial in my learning process as I honed my publishing skills with glossy magazine products as well as two separate newspapers.
Now I’m ready for a new challenge — one that will lead to a long-term commitment. With my children about to enter school — the oldest will be in first grade this year and the youngest will join a pre-k program somewhere in town — having a place to call home is vital.
In the early stages of my career, moving around made no difference. I would take any job that looked right, felt right and paid more. With children approaching school age, my priorities have completely changed. That’s why I’m here.
Ennis has a great public school system, safe streets, and proximity to my sister in Austin. It has access to nearly every service. Another vital component is my wife seems more at home than any place we’ve lived since we left our hometown of New Orleans 10 years ago. Having lived in New Orleans and New York in her life, the small town atmosphere was not her thing when we left for college at Louisiana Tech University in 1999. But after living in Ruston for five years, Farmerville for three and Hattiesburg (though it has a small metropolitan feel) for two years, the small town life is most appealing to her. She loves downtown, she loves the daily newspaper and she loves the potential of the school district. Ennis literally meets all the needs we required in order to make another career move.
With that said, I understand this won’t be easy. The economic climate has not been favorable to retailers (the heart and soul of our industry,) but things appear to be getting a little better. Positive predictions from national economists show there is some optimism. Personally, I’ve seen it first hand.
During the past six months in Hattiesburg, I saw a burden lifted from local retailers as people began shopping again and pumping business into the local economy. Luckily for us, the economy of Texas has not suffered nearly as much as in other states. Sure, there are budget cuts, as you saw from news reported about the city budget in Friday’s edition, but other areas are having far greater problems.
At the newspaper, there are some challenges. My predecessor and friend Ben Brooks briefed me on some of the plans of progress he envisioned for the future of the newspaper and I look forward to executing those. I’ve also got some ideas regarding our delivery of information, new products and better quality printing in the near future. Most importantly, I look forward to receiving feedback from the community about what you’d like to see in the newspaper. If there is something missing editorially please let us know. We have a young and talented editor in our midst and his door is always open. Nick Todaro worked for me as an intern for a brief period of time while I was in Ruston and I’ve watched his career over the past five years or so. He is working to implement some changes — one tremendous one he made this week when he eliminated the blue screen boxes from the front page. If you have any more suggestions, let Nick know.
I look forward to meeting as many people as possible in the next few months. Please let me know if there is anything our newspaper can do to further your cause, aid your business or look into an issue affecting you.
Hopefully I have not overwhelmed you with personal information, career goals and other aspects of life that may seem trivial. But knowing how small town communities love to get to know new people in town, I thought cheating a little and publishing more about myself to our 9,000 readers would speed up the process of becoming a member of this community. I look forward to buying a home, moving my children into our schools and making Ennis my hometown. Remember, my door is always open.
Tre Bischof is publisher of The Ennis Daily News. He can be reached by sending e-mail to tre@ennisdailynews.com.

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Posted by on Jul 27 2009. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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