Monday, May 17, 2010

Vinton Voice Publishes Its Last Issue

I just got the following e-mail from Chris Manning, publisher of the Vinton Voice:

"We gave it a shot, it was our last one. Effective today, the Voice has ceased operations.

"I would like to recommend Dan Vance, editor of the Voice, for anything you may have available. Everything you saw good about the Voice, Dan was responsible for, from the design and layout, to some of the ideas and excellent writing and reporting. I've given Dan your contact information, I hope you don't mind, and maybe, just maybe the Voice's loss could be your gain.

"It's a damn shame, but such is life sometimes ... we've been fighting this for months."

The Voice was a very small player in a large pool of publications, but it was one of the few in this market for which I had considerable respect. Chris knew from the beginning what he was getting into and what he wanted to accomplish. He had been the sales manager for a the group of weeklies that includes the Salem Times-Register and the Vinton Messenger and he was aware of how difficult the business is right now.

But Vinton is his hometown and he had an idea what he'd like to read if he was still living in Vinton. He didn't believe the Messenger was giving it to the readers because it was operated out of Salem and had shown little interest in that side of the Roanoke Valley in the past few years. If the Messenger was profitable, it was only marginally so, even though it had been around for many years.

I hate to see this little paper go because of what it says about following a dream and what it says about people's interest in the profession I've loved for 44 years. You gave it a good shot, Chris, and you have my admiration for that. I'm sorry it's gone.

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