Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

February 21, 2014

Happy to be back where it all began

By DANIEL PIKE
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — My first job was carrying a walking route for the Glasgow Daily Times. Six times a week, no matter the weather, I trudged down Magnolia Drive and Dogwood, Maple and Lyon avenues with a canvas bag slung over my shoulder, depositing copies of the newspaper onto my neighbors’ doorsteps.

I don’t remember how old I was when I started, but I was probably 12 or 13. While pursuing a journalism career wasn’t yet an ambition, I’m certain that paper route planted the subconscious seed. A few customers waited at their doors for the paper to arrive each afternoon, and I enjoyed being the person who brought the day’s news. Occasionally, subscribers vented to me their frustrations about the Daily Times’ content, ignoring the fact that this child on their porch was in no position to address such concerns. Those conversations, though, introduced to me the concept of the newspaper as something to discuss, not just digest.

I also remember the disappointment I felt when I passed a nonsubscriber’s house, or when I received notice from the circulation department that a customer canceled. I wonder why they don’t want the paper, I’d ask myself. Why did it fall short? I’ve spent 15 years in the newspaper business seeking the answer, and I’m thrilled I now have the opportunity to try to find it in my hometown.

Forgive my tardiness in publishing this introductory column – or reintroductory, for those of you who recall my stint as Daily Times sports editor more than a decade ago. My excuse is uninspired: I’ve been on the job for nearly two months, but reacclimating to this newsroom and relocating to Glasgow have demanded much of my time.  

A quick look at where I’ve been since leaving the Daily Times in 2003 and subsequently graduating from Western Kentucky University: Most recently, I worked for six years at the Bowling Green Daily News, serving first as sports editor, then rising to city editor and assistant managing editor. Before that, I was a news and features reporter at The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill.

Along the way, I married a Glasgow girl, and we have two young daughters. My wife and I shared a desire to be a Glasgow family, and I hoped my newspaper career would lead to the seat I’m in now. We are where we want to be.

But although it took more than a decade for me to return to the Daily Times, getting here was the easy part. The real work will be making my vision for this community’s newspaper a reality. I didn’t accept this job to mess around.

During a visit this week to CNHI headquarters in Montgomery, Ala., I told our company’s executives that my aspiration is for the Daily Times to consistently be inspiring and indispensable to its readers. I know how I define those words, but your definitions are equally important. While our reporters must concentrate on interviewing officials and newsmakers, you are my most valuable source. I was listening to your thoughts about your newspaper when I was in sixth grade, and now that kid with the canvas bag is actually – and happily – in a position to do something about them.

My door is always open at 100 Commerce Drive. You’re invited to call me, tweet at me, email me. You’ll inevitably see me around town, and I encourage you to say hello, to tell me how the Daily Times can be inspiring and indispensable to you.

Now more than ever, I’ll feel that sense of disappointment when I encounter a nonsubscriber or a nonreader. This newsroom will do everything it can to ensure there are fewer of those to be found.

Daniel Pike is editor of the Glasgow Daily Times. Reach him by calling 270-678-5171, by emailing dpike@glasgowdailytimes.com or on Twitter at @DPikeGDT.