Welcome Home To The Atlantic News!

By Michael P. Connelly, Owner, Publisher Atlantic News

Atlantic News, Friday, November 18, 2005

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News.]

Michael P. Connelly

If you're new to the pages of our free and friendly locally owned community newspaper, it is our intent to provide a refreshing choice and broader take on the news that surrounds you. If you're a loyal reader, you'll see we've made many new additions to the paper to provide value and utility, enabling you to enjoy the life that surrounds you.

We've packed our newspaper with fun stories, tools, news and information. And we also have included the hard news that is critical. But we want to tell good stories and bring you a refreshing take on the life that surrounds you. We warn you, we won't perpetually banner negative news. After all, life on the Seacoast is great! So why should all the bad news lead the paper?

We believe the community news strikes a key balance in your life. We're not political. If we lean in any direction, it's probably forward and to the positive fork in the road of life. You don't need another newspaper pontificating on life, poking a stick at the world and telling you how the world can be better. Instead we're friendly, warm, hospitable and open-minded. And we're available at all hours of the day without an appointment.

Call or drop by during normal business hours. Visit our offices at 893 Lafayette Road in Hampton. We intend to reflect your community, your schools and the numerous groups, organizations and events that make the New Hampshire Seacoast a spectacular destination for second-home owners and visitors.

Our promise: We will put a face to the place you call home and introduce you to people that make your community dynamic. But this is your second warning! We provide positive news. Some in our business would call it soft or happy, or boring. We call it necessary, vital and truly reflective to our surroundings. It's our franchise, our differentiating value. We respect the need to cover the process of government, but there's more to life than meetings.

As you navigate the pages of the Atlantic News, think of what would further help you. In the issues to come we'll provide you with simple tools in order to reply.

The Atlantic News is in its 32nd year of circulation. It has been many things in the past, but through time it has always been locally owned and independently operated. To wit, my name is Michael P. Connelly, your tour guide and host. I am the owner, publisher and editor (and sometimes the night watchman, staff photographer, maintenance engineer, collections thug and lunch gopher). I'm the independent owner, but I'm not an independent. My personal politics will never put a slant on this newspaper (unless the Denver Broncos somehow move to Durham).

My wife of 23 years is Michelle. She's in charge of advertising sales and marketing. She is our secret weapon because she has an unmatched spark and charm. I call her my SHE-e-o (and I don't know if that's politically correct, but she's simply brilliant). When we purchased the assets of the Atlantic News in March 2004, we didn't realize what we had really acquired. The only true asset of this publication is the sum of the parts of the people who make it happen each week. In no particular order, we have an eclectic group with great life experience that my wife and I call "family."

For example, our community editor, Liz Premo, marks her 9th anniversary at the paper in March. Through her work at the paper she enjoys a close connection with many within the Seacoast community. She is the editor of 21 Voices, the official newsletter of SAU21, and received the 2003 News Media Award from the National Education Association's New Hampshire chapter for her education reporting. She has a "cuss cup" near her computer — watch your language in our office, or bring spare change.

Our production manager, John Hirtle, has been with the paper more than 10 years. His wit and wisdom dots these many fine pages, and he produces the Beach News with one verb tied behind his back. To cold-calling telemarketers, he refers them to our specialist, "Larry Duall."

General manager, Betty McClean, is the glue that keeps us together. She is two parts General, one part manager, has been with the paper for 12 years, and knows everyone and everything -— including all the down and dirty tidbits that comes with the bookkeeping side of this business. (She's a Yankees fan; nobody's perfect.)

Our inside sales expert is Ann Hogan. She's is renowned for her knitting prowess, but in her two years here she has brought a great deal of depth to our Business and Services category as well as our specialty products.

Jen Morton is our graphic artist. She's in her 20s yet has been here for five years, effective yesterday! She is as dynamic a designer as any person I've ever worked with. Unfortunately for us, Jen is on track to be a nurse. She splits her time between us and school. To accommodate, we see even less of her because we've built a work station for her at home so she can spend time with her one-year-old son Evan (who was Boy Wonder in our ad campaign last winter called, "Eye on Evan.")

New to our ranks are a couple of very talented professionals. Patricia Kelley-McSharry is a sales account representative who has spent a good deal of time in the "auto category" of sales, at dealerships and at other publications. She is the perfect example of how a small, family owned company should be portrayed in-markets: Professional, courteous, willing, truly interested in your goals, trusting, and not driven by commissions, but driven by making a difference in the performance of your business.

Last but not least: Scott E. Kinney. He's last in this story because as you'll witness, his name is atop most stories in this paper. He's our news leader and he's invaluable to our operation. He's got a keen eye on news, but not shoes. And he executes my vision for this paper as we expand.

Your only choice is simple: you're free to enjoy this paper or contact us and we'll "unsubscribe" you from our mailing list. If you like the paper, then settle in and enjoy. And as you shop for Christmas and life thereafter, we encourage you to visit our advertisers and thank them for making the choice to position their company in our humble, positive community paper. Accept this as your first gift of the season, and have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.