Turning Over The Keys To The Employees

By JOHN M. DERBY
TIMES PUBLISHER
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 in 2004.
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 house.
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 weekly basis.
It is not fake. It is all about the heart of our community.
This community has taught us so many lessons, and still does.
Thank you all for being our readers.
God bless you everyone.


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