I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The amazing feedback I’ve received from readers regarding the RN&R’s post-pandemic comeback has been beyond rewarding. To all of you who have sent an email, mentioned something in person, or become a financial supporter of the RN&R: Thank you.
During the last few months, we’ve run a house ad asking our fans to reach out to us and tell us how the RN&R fits into lives, what we could do better—and to offer help, if possible. The response, again, has been amazing.
It’s become clear, as we approach our 30th anniversary, that if the RN&R is to make it to our 40th anniversary—and I am confident we will—it’ll be because the community has rallied behind it.
Last month, we published our Best of Northern Nevada issue. Before the issue came out, we reached out to the winners and asked if they’d like to purchase an ad to thank the readers who voted for them. In the days of yore, the RN&R could count on the big casinos and other larger businesses to buy an ad, but this year … nope. (There were a few exceptions, like Legends Bay and the Grand Sierra Resort, and I thank the ad buyers there sincerely.)
I sent three or four emails to those in charge of advertising at the largest casinos that you, our readers, selected as your favorites, and even left a phone message or two. I didn’t even get the courtesy of a “no thank you.”
That said, we still had an excellent Best Of issue, revenue-wise—because the smaller businesses and individuals, those who are truly invested in the community, understand what the Best of Northern Nevada means (despite its flaws), and who wanted to invest in the issue and the RN&R. Locally owned restaurants, local performing arts companies, yoga studios, dance instructors, DJs, printers, record stores, auto-repair shops, skate shops, wedding planners, politicians, aestheticians, nurseries, orthodontists and even plastic surgeons—they know that locals appreciate and love the RN&R, and therefore opened their wallets to advertise in the Best of Northern Nevada.
(That said, we still are looking for a sponsor or sponsors for a Best of Northern Nevada winners’ party later this year. If that sponsor could be you, or you know of someone, drop me a line.)
Over the next few months, we’ll be ramping up the process of determining whether it makes sense for the RN&R to become a nonprofit. I just received a report from a consultant we hired regarding the possibility, and he thinks it’s doable, so I’ll be making lots of phone calls and setting up more than a few meetings in the coming months.
As I wrote two months ago: “Frankly, I don’t want the RN&R’s future to depend on me, or on the whims of any other owner. The RN&R is a community resource, and it would be fantastic for it to belong to the community as a nonprofit. But in order for that to happen, we’ll need board members, and donors, and volunteers, and people willing to help us find funding.”
I am more confident than ever that we can make this happen. If you have ideas or you can help, email me: [email protected].
In other news, the Nevada Press Association just announced its 2023 Better Newspaper Contest Winners, for work done in 2022—and even though we were only in print for seven months out of the year, we did quite well, winning six awards:
• First place in the food writing category (combined urban and rural categories) for Michael Moberly’s Liquid Conversations column.
• First place in the special section or campaign advertising category (urban) for the Best of Northern Nevada 2022.
• Second place for advertising general excellence (combined magazines and urban categories).
• Third place in the editorial page category (urban).
• Third place for general online excellence (urban).
• Third place in the political/government enterprise reporting category (urban) for Frank X. Mullen’s “‘Little Trump 2.0s’: Robert Beadles is spending big bucks to install ‘America First’ candidates in office in Washoe County and beyond.”
Without the community—advertisers who stepped up, readers who stepped up and others—this journalism and these lower-cost advertising options for businesses never would have existed.
Again … thank you.