Welcome to the December Growth/No Growth issue of NorthBay biz magazine. This issue is special in a couple of ways. It’s the first magazine we’re publishing after the fires and I want to extend a special thanks to our staff of editors, writers, photographers and columnists who all did a superb job of capturing the magnitude of the catastrophic loss we’ve all been through.
This is also the last I’ll write as one of the magazine’s owners and its publisher. After more than 17 years of calling the North Bay home, we’ve sold the magazine to Lawrence Amaturo, managing partner of the Amaturo Sonoma Media Group. Since our acquisition of the magazine in June 2000, we’ve done our best to serve the best interests of the business community in the North Bay.
Over the years, we’ve chronicled the business of doing business in Sonoma, Marin and Napa counties, sometimes highlighting opportunities and celebrating success, but always trying to expand the conversation on often competing solutions to common problems.
The magazine took on a life of its own as we responded to the changing local economic climate and issues of importance to its readers, improving content by adding new features, columnists, design elements and a forum for members of the community to have their voices heard. (Guest columns, Readers Speak Out, Political biz and Chamber View)
At the end of the day, we’ve enjoyed coming to work, living in and becoming a member of the Wine Country community while publishing a magazine that always tried to live up to its tag line: “Helping grow your business isn’t something we do… It’s all we do!”
Joni and I care deeply about the magazine and the community it serves, so we’re extremely pleased that the new owner is a local community leader who knows the local media landscape and is prepared to make a fine publication even better.
In rummaging through a desk drawer recently, I came upon a letter Lawrence had sent me on April 8, 2013 when he was announcing his reacquisition of five local radio stations we’re all familiar with: KSRO, Froggy, The River, The Mix and Hot 101.7. In his letter, he wrote, “Radio programming is at its best when it reflects and fosters the interests, passions and lifestyle of its immediate community. I pledge that we will continue this heritage and grow it further.”
The nonstop way that KSRO reported the fires providing up-to-the-minute coverage unavailable anywhere else is evidence that his commitment to community is real. And he promises to bring that same dedication to NorthBay biz magazine.
Lawrence will be taking on the role of publisher and our partner John Dennis will remain with the magazine as its president and general manager.
Joni and I will now have the opportunity to spend more quality time with our two daughters, Meg and Mary and their families in the Midwest, and with our son, Mike and his family in the Bay Area. We’ve enjoyed our special relationship with the North Bay community and created many wonderful memories and friendships. The Wine Country lifestyle is not one easily duplicated.
As you mature (notice I didn’t say get old) you realize things change, and now the page has turned and the next chapter begins.
A huge thanks to all our readers and advertisers for their support through the years and our heartfelt appreciation to all our employees, writers, editors, columnists and photographers past and present. Without their contributions, the magazine’s success wouldn’t have been possible.
Our best wishes to John (our former partner) and Lawrence for the magazine’s continued growth and success. We couldn’t have left the magazine in better hands.
That’s it for now. Enjoy this month’s magazine.
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