With Thanksgiving on our doorstep, The Herald would like to express gratitude for the continued community support given to us on a daily basis.

    The past few months have been a time of transition for The Herald, as the newspaper shifted to a three-day-a-week publication cycle and put more emphasis on online daily reporting. It was a challenging step for those of us who, like many of our readers, see great value in a local, daily community print newspaper.

    But what we realized — through changing industry standards and numerous interviews and conversations with local focus groups and individuals — was that the vital service provided by The Herald isn’t necessarily found in the newspaper’s physical pages themselves. It’s the information, context and insight provided by our reporting, as well as the opportunities for paid advertising, that give us value, we were told. The delivery vehicle for those services — whether print or online — is less important than the information itself.

    So our readers were remarkably understanding when The Herald made its publication shift. They realized we were responding to market changes and working to safeguard the future of their community newspaper. Making the transition allowed The Herald to not only become a more efficient business; it also helped us to protect the integrity and quality of the newspaper’s content and avoid any job losses. (We are happy to report that, with the addition of a graphics artist this fall, The Herald family actually has more faces around the proverbial Thanksgiving table today than before the change.)

    In addition, readers have told us they enjoy The Herald’s new bigger, better print format. Many initially were skeptical of the three-day change, believing that the newspaper’s quality would suffer. But, they now say, their fears have been calmed. They enjoy the meaty news pages, expanded comics, renewed focus on business and entertainment and fresh features like the “Now You’re Talking” items on the “Community Views” page.

    We are grateful these readers have been so accepting of the changes and are willing to grow with The Herald as we venture forward.

    Thanks also go to our advertisers and partners in the business community without whose support our continued success would not be possible. We realize no one has been immune to the economic challenges of the past few years — whether automotive, real estate, medical, restaurants, small businesses, The Herald itself or any number of other ventures — so investing with the newspaper to help get the word out about their businesses and events means the world to us.

    Our gratitude this Thanksgiving also is extended to the vendors, contractors and other community partners who have adapted with our changes, always rolling with the punches to help us provide a quality service to our customers.

    We’re thankful for Harris Enterprises, The Herald’s parent company, which began in Ottawa with the newspaper more than a century ago. The Harris family began the modern era of The Herald and set the tone for decades of local control with an emphasis on professional, responsible community journalism. Its members set the foundation for the quality newspaper you read today.

    And finally, we thank our staff — the people always striving to not only meet the demands of the day, but also better themselves and the newspaper. From the front office staff, media specialists and graphics professionals who work to meet customers’ circulation, advertising and marketing needs to the newsroom crew responsible for The Herald’s award-winning news and sports content, we’re grateful to have such a strong team working with us to work for you.

    If you’re reading this, thanks.

    Your newspaper wouldn’t be the same without you.

— Tommy Felts, managing editor