Holiday office party today for The St. Louis American. Weekly paper in the Midwest, 70,000 circulation. One paper, one owner, Donald M. Suggs. An African-American owner, an African-American focus, a largely African-American readership, a diverse but almost entirely African-American staff.
As far as I know, the only publication in St. Louis that made it through 2008 without downsizing in staff, going down in circulation, going down in pages, or publishing less often. Nobody noticed but us, but that's okay, we're used to it.
This year one of our trade associations, Suburban Newspapers of North America, judged us to be the best weekly in our class in the U.S. and the second best in North America. The only better paper, in their judgment, is published by a company that also publishes the largest paper in Canada (Toronto Star) and Harlequin fricking Romances.
Nobody much noticed but us, but that's okay. Joe Edwards, one of the most visonary businessmen in St. Louis, noticed (see attached letter). But that's about it. We oppose the current mayor of St. Louis, who sits on the shameful St. Louis police board, so he ignored us and if anything used his office to attempt to turn our advertisers against us.
That's okay, we're used to that too.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch covered the fact that one of the mayor's paid publicists, Gentry Trotter, finally assumed responsibility for helping to publish the smut and thug rag that is the St. Louis Evening Whirl. But made no mention of our award or any of our accomplishments.
Used to that too.
Still love my job and applaud our publisher for his honesty and courage. There is not much of that in St. Louis public life. Believe me!
Good office party, by the way. Still going on. Back to my Sierra Nevada Porter. Pick up the American every Thursday at Walgreens, Schnucks, Shop and Save, and here and there on streetcorners.