My view: Your community, your Sierra Sun, my new home
With some prodding and pressure from several people in my life — dad, bosses and co-workers — I will be getting a regular column up and running. You should be able to find me running most Fridays in the Sierra Sun.
Let’s start with a quick introduction, I am Ben Rogers, co-general manager and advertising director of the Sierra Sun and North Lake Tahoe Bonanza. I moved to the area in November and have been happy to call this region my new home.
My wife and I have been amazed at the warm welcome we have received in this community. It is truly a wonderful place and in my opinion one of the beautiful areas of the country.
We are from Colorado and have been very happy to be back in a great mountain town. Of course, it helps that we have had a great winter so far — thank you Ullr and any other snow god you can think of.
At the paper, my job is to lead and to help us be the best media organization we can be. My core responsibilities lie on the business side of our operation. I am very excited to see what we can do in the months ahead. With this snow and a great ski season this year, we have started off in good shape for 2016.
One of the questions that many readers have is, “what is it that a newspaper does, outside of the obvious aspect of writing stories and covering the news?”
We are also just like any other business. We have budgets, payroll, revenue and expense. It is my job to help make sure that we, as a business, are secure and strong. As a newspaper, we have the obligation, and great honor, of being a fixture and a figure of our community.
We must cover the news in the right way for our readers. We strive to bring content that appeals to you in a way that is beneficial and accurate. Our hope is that when you read our paper, you are both informed and entertained. We firmly believe that there is something special about the Lake Tahoe and Truckee region.
We have three primary audiences in our market — locals, visitors and second-home owners. While there is some overlap among these categories, we really do see these are our core audience targets.
Why is that important? Well, I bet that most of the folks reading this column like to ski or snowboard, or play in the mountains. The main difference is where they chose to live and how often they visit our great community.
For the locals, we live here year round. We are the folks who occasionally gripe about the increase in traffic and busy grocery stores, but at the end of the day, we know what keeps our economy rolling. We love our home and we see it as a paradise. Having grown up in a small mountain town in Colorado, I get it. There is something special about our communities. Something unique that keeps us living up here in the mountains.
For the visitors, they are the folks who choose to come up to the mountains to visit and play. They might be coming from the Bay Area, or somewhere else. They are one of the key groups who help keep our local economy moving forward. Without them, there are no jobs for all of us who call this place home. I know, I know, some of you will cry foul and let me know how wrong I am, but I can be very certain that without a strong tourism based economy, there would not be the kind of growth and opportunity that we see in our market.
The third group, and frankly the folks who have the best of both worlds, are the second-home owners. They get to call this place home and call somewhere else home, too. This audience tends to be here to play, but at the same time, they do care about the community.
What does this mean for all of you? Well as I am sure most folks who read our paper have discovered, we have segmented our papers to better fit the needs of our readers.
As an example, our mid-week edition features more locally focused content and has a newsier feel, while our weekend paper has more of a recreation and tourism focus, while ensuring local news and opinion remains is prominently displayed inside the Tahoe World.
This is one of the keys to our coverage and plans. We understand that our readers want to both stay connected to our community and at the same time know about the great recreation, entertainment, dining options, events and more that make Truckee-Tahoe such a fun place to live and play.
We hold the fact that we are your community paper to a high standard. We feel and believe in what we do and what we bring to our community. We are here because of all of you — all of the readers who consume our content in print, online or via social media. Your news is our news, your events are our events, and your success is our success.
You are what makes our community prosper. Whether local, visitor or second-home owner, you are why we are here. I am proud to be able to call this community home.
Ben Rogers is the co-general manager and advertising director of the Sierra Sun and North Lake Tahoe Bonanza. He can be reached directly at email@example.com.
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