New Presidents, Can You Top This Introduction?

This is one of the better openings to an introduction column by the new president of a press association board:

“Well, this is one heck of a way to start out my term as TPA president.

“First, we have to cancel the convention in January and I get elected via Zoom — which was okay, but different and king of weird.

“Then, in February, Texas gets hit by the worst snowstorm in a decade and for the first time in my 45-year career the presses don’t roll and I don’t get any of my three newspapers out. A printed paper, that is. We still got digital versions out, like a lot of you did.”

Jim Bardwell, publisher of the Gladewater Mirror, Lindale News & Times, and the White Oak Independent, gave no indication in the Texas Press Messenger of any resignation despite the unusual start. Rather, he spent the rest of his “As I Was Saying…” column noting how Texas publishers met the “unusual climatology calamity” and how the Texas Press Association’s Legislative Advisory Committee was confronting challenges at the statehouse to remove legal ads and public notices from newspapers.

Wearing his new president hat, Bardwell closed with encouragement: “Thank you to all of you who, as Lynette Sowell put it, ‘keep on keepin’ on.'”

Let’s all wish Bardwell a smooth rest of the year.

–Tom Silvestri

Author note: The Relevance Project thanks the Texas Press Association for including our new “Local Like You” promotion in the March edition of its monthly publication.

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