Over The Keys To The Employees
By JOHN M. DERBY
November 23, 2017
This week I officially turned the keys of the company over
to the employees of Mid Valley Publications, something I
tried to do three times before, but failed to do.
For one reason or another, I kept hanging around to clean
up the mess, and could never actually give complete control
to the employees.
I was always afraid of failure, and even now, that is a
real possibility. However, no one learns if they are not
allowed to fail.
The Times, and all the other papers which make up the Mid
Valley Publications group of newspapers, now officially
belong to the employees who all own stock in the corporation.
Together they own over 51 percent which makes them the owners,
something I have wanted from the very first time I retired
Even if I wanted to, my body will not allow me to continue
to do what is necessary to continue to run this newspaper
company which has outgrown itself, and become a success
beyond my wildest imagination.
It has about 31 dedicated employees, both full and part
time, who all participate in putting together each of the
five newspapers which now make up Mid Valley Publications.
Our readers stretch from Merced to Modesto, up into Don
Pedro and La Grange, and down into Atwater, Winton and Merced.
We own the Hilmar Times, the Hughson Chronicle, and the
Denair Dispatch, as well as the Waterford News, and we have
been publishing under one ownership for 55 years.
Now the ownership belongs to the men and women who have
all worked for Mid Valley Publications in the past and present.
Many people in Merced and Stanislaus counties have been
employed by this company which does all its printing in
All of its writers are local. All of its stories are local.
All of its news is geared toward bringing about the positive
aspects of our community. We never talk or write down the
community we publish in.
There is far too much of that being done. We feel that our
communities are the best, or we wouldn’t be living
here. They are not the richest in California, nor do they
have the best housing or jobs; but they are the places where
we wisely chose to live and raise our children.
No one can take that away from us.
As the founder and publisher, on a personal note, I am proud
to say that I have had the opportunity to serve the people
in this place we all call home. There are no finer, no more
generous people in the world, than in this region, and I
would never trade away the years of experience I have gained
since starting as a cub reporter and eventually becoming
a proud publisher.
We are proud of the newspapers our staff publishes on a
It is not fake. It is all about the heart of our community.
This community has taught us so many lessons, and still
Thank you all for being our readers.
God bless you everyone.