George Foster 3/30/09
Here at the bustling compound of the Northern Express Weekly administrative offices, we received a revealing phone call last week. The caller wondered if the Express had gone out of business. It seems our newspapers were missing from their usual shelf in a local business when the caller stopped by to pick up his copy.
The absence of papers was actually due to a different problem - the Express papers had all been gobbled up at the location in question. While some of the other free publications seem to always languish on the newsstands, Northern Express is more popular than ever.
With newspapers across the country crumbling around us daily, it isnt surprising that some may wonder about our papers prospects as a viable business. Well, just look through this issue for your answer. It is our most successful Best of Northern Michigan issue ever. More importantly, after 18 years of publishing, overall distribution and advertising sales of Northern Express continue to grow.
Yet, as the economy reboots itself, no business can afford to hang its hat totally on the past. We are always looking for ways to improve the Express. As a part of our strategy for continued growth in the future, we are happy to announce a new online product, the Virtual Express, mirroring our printed newspaper that many of you have read every week for years.
Dont worry, the printed Northern Express will always be with us. You can still expect to find the printed copy in the same 600 locations in 13 counties every week. In addition to the printed paper, every page of the newspaper is now being reproduced online in the same form as our printed edition.
The advantage of the Virtual Express is that we now have your back. Last weeks desperate caller has a copy at his fingertips online when his favorite hangout runs out of Northern Express. Looking for a past article that is long gone? Just log on to
www.northernexpress.com and look in our archives.
Once on the Virtual Express, I personally get a kick out of the flipping page technology (click the lower corners of the paper). Listening to the sound of pages turning is the next best thing to holding a newspaper. Follow the instructions on page 7 of this issue to read the Northern Express online. Once on the Virtual Express, dont forget to zoom in up to 400 percent to enlarge articles or ads. Also, the system provides easy access to advertiser websites with a simple point and click, along with many other user-friendly features.
Your buddies at the Express have debated endlessly how we could have a better presence online and still not undercut the success of our printed product. The Virtual Express seems to be the answer. Now you can find the same Northern Express online that reads in newspaper form, page for page.
While celebrating the winners and other contenders in this extremely competitive Best of Northern Michigan issue, we would be remiss if we didnt thank the readers and advertisers of Northern Express for their amazing support over the last 18 years. You are the best.