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A Fond Farewell

Written By Tyler James on 4/27/17 | 4/27/17

Matthew Avitabile approached me in late July 2016 about helping him bring The Schoharie News to print. My grammatically incorrect reply? "Eh."

That is the 100% true, albeit short, story about the beginnings of the current version of The Mountain Eagle. I had heard the reports, about how newspapers were a dying business. My initial reaction was one of skepticism. How could it not be? We might as well open a video store. (If you recently opened a video store, ignore the sarcasm. I'm sure it will be an incredible success.)

I couldn't have been more wrong.

The reason I was wrong is two fold. The first is fairly obvious and straightforward. People can't get local news online. So nationally, smaller papers are doing quite well. The second is the kind of paper we decided to publish. We would focus on the community, sourcing our material directly from the community we serve. If you read TME, you notice the myriad of columnists and contributors we have. We felt that a paper for the people, by the people (yes, I'm aware of the similarity) would be the most effective method of attracting interest.

The results have been astounding. Feedback has shown us that we were on the right track, and that people want a choice. I have been involved in every aspect of this business since the beginning, and I'm proud to say that we have accomplished what we set out to do.

That being said, I will be leaving the newspaper at the end of the week to pursue opportunities elsewhere. My experience working on the paper and for other ventures in this area have been nothing short of amazing, and I want to thank every one of you for welcoming me here with open arms. I will forever be appreciative.

Now, a word about my friend, business partner, and mentee Mathew Avitabile. I've seen the tireless work he puts into this publication first hand. The late nights, early mornings and long days. The point is, he truly cares about making this thing we built a success. Matt wants to be a truthful voice in this region, and stops at nothing to please everyone he encounters. A truly great guy, and I'll miss him.

I won't name everyone, because that would take up way too much space and be tedious at best. Tim Knight, Cathleen Berry, Steve Kowalski, Darlene Patterson, Bill Kinisky, the Mortons, Scott Bennet Jr. and Frank Kovacofsky.

Thank you.


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