Log in Subscribe

Happy Birthday to The Bradenton Times!


BRADENTON -- Today, Saturday, March 20th, 2010, The Bradenton Times celebrates its One Year Anniversary providing news for Manatee County and surrounding areas.

Our publisher, Joe McClash, has always said that the concept of The Bradenton Times was simple: provide the community with locally focused news and business information that is being overlooked by the other news organizations in the area.

He saw established print news organizations reducing their staff and decreasing coverage of important local news. He started The Bradenton Times to inform, educate and keep local news reporting active in the community.

After a year of reporting local news, we have established ourselves as providers of the best local news coverage in the area.

Great Growth

Thanks to you, our readers, our growth has been fantastic. As the director of Web site operations here at The Bradenton Times, part of what I do is track and analyze our Web site's statistics to see how many people are reading the articles on our site each day. I, also, work to find out how we can provide you the information you are looking for in the best way possible.

After reviewing the statistics from the last year, I see that our monthly readership has grown from just a few readers at the site's launch to tens of thousands of readers each month -- and we're still experiencing double-digit readership growth every month.

In addition to the growth in the daily news provided on the Web site, many readers have signed up to receive our Weekly Recap newsletter. This e-mail summary of the week's news articles is sent out each Thursday, and it is waiting in our reader's e-mail inboxes by the time they get up that morning.

The Weekly Recap is growing as well. A year ago the first Weekly Recap was sent out to about 200 local subscribers. Now it is sent to over 35,000 subscribers each week who read, comment and click on our articles to find out more information. They also forward the stories to friends and colleagues all around the world.

We lost The Fly, but gained Roblimo.
Just recently our first news editor, Vincent Safuto, resigned to move on to new opportunities. Vincent was the author of the popular "Fly on the Wall" series of articles. In these articles Vincent's alter ego "The Fly" shared his unique observations on the many quirky happenings around town and in the government meetings he covered as a reporter.

While "The Fly" will be missed, our new news editor, Robin 'Roblimo' Miller, now takes the helm at the editor's desk. When you talk with Robin about Bradenton and the surrounding communities, it becomes clear, very quickly, that he has a great passion for news and letting people know what is going on around town and how the news affects the people living here.

To help grow our news coverage Robin has already increased the number and variety of contributors providing news articles for us, adding to the diversity of content we have on the site. He will also continue providing news commentary on the area's happenings in the new "Editor's Notebook" column. Robin is also actively soliciting Letters to the Editor, so e-mail the editor to have your opinion heard as well.

Connecting with you: Community Reporting

Part of what we feel is our responsibility as engaged members of the community is that we should connect and build a relationship with the people in the community. For a new news organization gaining this community trust can be a struggle.

A great example of connecting to the community is our reporter Erica Newport. Erica has been reporting for us for about nine months and in that short time she has done an exceptional job connecting with the local arts and culture, environment, religion, food and dining, non-profit and spiritual community. 

Erica's enthusiasm for the people she covers comes through in each and every story. Read her story on the Linger Lodge Restaurant and see how she was able to remind people of the "old florida" that existed here before the strip malls and the multi-lane highways. Erica has also covered fundraising events in the Village of the Arts at business such as Bonnie Bakes and many of the businesses seek out her personally to cover their news stories and community events. 

If you have a community story you think Erica should cover, send Erica an e-mail.

More than an Online Newspaper
Our tag-line states that we are "More than an Online Newspaper," but what exactly does this mean?

We provide more than news for our readers. For example, our acclaimed online Events Calendar provides the area's most comprehensive listing of the Arts & Culture, Charity, Entertainment and Government events that are scheduled in Manatee County. We even throw a little Sarasota County information in there from time-to-time to make sure all the important events in the area are covered. We've spent hundreds of man-hours building and maintaining this calendar so you can easily find events that interest you.

We maintain an extensive Business Directory and Service Directory for Manatee County. With these directories our readers can find the local business in the area they are looking for. Every business listings provides contact information and a convenient map link so you'll know right where they are located.

When you find a Business Directory listing on our site you'll know that the business is a local listing and not the result of an aggregated list. Many listings also include detailed supplementary information like downloadable dinner menus for restaurant listings or video walk-throughs of retail locations. We encourage all our readers to use these resources and solicit local business.

We also have free Classifieds where our readers can post their listings at no charge and a new discussion forum where you can share your opinion on any topic.

It has been an exciting first year with The Bradenton Times. I look forward to seeing how we grow and serve the community in the years to come.

William W. Winter
Director of Web site Operations


No comments on this item

Only paid subscribers can comment
Please log in to comment by clicking here.