Thanks For A Great Year

By Mike Fourcher | Friday, December 30, 2011

Some of the CSJ/RVJ team from a photo taken last January. (l to r) Samantha Abernethy, Katie Bijak, Stacy Jeziorowski, Brad Bretz, Patty Wetli, Kathy Chapman, Mike Fourcher. Credit: Brad Bretz

It’s not quite our second anniversary, the official date is January 10 (and we’ll be celebrating much later), but the end of a calendar year is always a good time to take stock of where we’re at and what’s happened in the past year.

Some numbers:

  • 22 people have contributed stories or photography to Center Square Journal and Roscoe View Journal this year
  • 41 advertisers placed ads with us in 2011
  • 159,844 unique people visited CSJ and RVJ this year.
  • We’ve had 1,108 stories posted on CSJ and RVJ this year.
  • We now have three full-time employees of Brown Line Media. At the start of the year there was one full-time and two part-time.

Some other notable changes and accomplishments:

It’s been a big year.

None of this would have been possible without our great writers and photographers. And boy do I mean it. I am tremendously grateful for the hard work each of them have put in. It was way beyond any monetary compensation they may have received. It’s really their heart and soul that has made this thing work. I especially want to thank:

  • Samantha Abernethy for her tremendous hard work during the first half of the year to give CSJ a voice and bring great writing to the sites. You’re missed.
  • Kathy Chapman for pounding the pavement and getting advertisers when nobody else would.
  • Sarah Tilotta for her tremendous photography, always on short notice. It has made CSJ and RVJ look professional.
  • Patty Wetli for writing, writing and writing. So, so great.
  • Jason Kreke for ferreting out some of the most hidden, but just plain great parts of the neighborhoods that many of us never even heard of.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything you all do.

So what comes next?

First, freelancer Patty Wetli is going to take on a larger role, as she begins working part-time to manage CSJ and RVJ content starting January 9. I’m excited about that. But there’s more…

I won’t be coy. For the last year I’ve been watching Patch.com closely and reading news that Joe Rickett’s Patch/Red Eye mashup is planning to come to Chicago. I think we have only choice to thrive and survive: Get bigger.

The question remains: How big? I’m not sure. But we’re working on it feverishly. My reporting work has gone down significantly in the past few weeks as I’ve been meeting with lots of smart thinkers to figure those things out. But, the good news is that lots of people seem to think we’ve figured out some key components, that the time and market is right and that if anyone has an opportunity to do something significant, it would be us.

Thank you again for reading us and advertising with us. Our relationship to you is precious and we love the feedback we get. Stay in touch and please let us know what we can do to make 2012 better.

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