Publisher reflects on 2015: Times to laugh, times to weep |

Publisher reflects on 2015: Times to laugh, times to weep

Mike Bennett
Staff Photo |

As 2015 comes to an end, it is a great time for reflection. For me, personal life and work are very intertwined, although two personal events had the greatest impact on my life in 2015.

“Turn, Turn, Turn,” written by Pete Seeger based on a passage from the book of Ecclesiastes, with lyrics to which many of us can relate, would be on my life soundtrack in 2015.

“There is a season — turn, turn, turn

“And a time to every purpose under heaven

“A time to be born, a time to die

“A time to plant, a time to reap

“A time to kill, a time to heal

“A time to laugh, a time to weep …”

“A time to die”: The year kicked off with the unexpected death of Bonnie, my former wife, due to complications from alcoholism. I left her two years earlier as I chose not to live with the difficult conditions that can occur with an individual under the influence. You truly would need to experience that way of living to understand. Over and over again I was told that I shouldn’t blame myself for her death, yet I am confident that if I hadn’t left she’d still be alive, albeit unhappy.

Mourning her departure from this world has been full of unpleasant surprises. Throughout 2015, be it her birthday, a holiday, a certain meal or even a song on the iPod, I’d find myself depressed and teary eyed.

2015 also was the year that I realized the importance of community, family and friends. Without your support, I’m not sure I would have been able to get through this year of mourning. Thank you.

“A time to be born”: On Sept. 8, I became the proud Pop Pop of identical twin boys, Trent and Truman. Hands down, it is probably the most exciting and positive event in my life since 2001, when Caleb, my first grandchild, was born. If you are a grandparent I’m sure you can relate.

Two is twice the fun for me and twice the work for their parents. I’m thankful for today’s technology that allows me to do a call with video and watch my grandbabies grow. And I couldn’t be happier for my daughter Sara, who has been trying to have children for the last 10 years. She has instantly become a wonderful mom.

2015 at the Post Independent has been a remarkable year. When I reflect on all we do including creating content, providing marketing solutions for our local businesses and readers, it may be the best year I can remember on all sides.

Financially our numbers were excellent as we showed good growth in print and astounding growth in digital revenue. Without the solid PI team and the great community we serve, this success would not have been possible. And for that I am once again thankful.

Our success has allowed us to expand a little in our newsroom and to be able to add distribution points. Editor Randy Essex and team have produced content that is compelling, interesting and relevant on a daily basis.

You have responded by making it challenging to keep our newspapers stocked throughout the day in all of our locations. Your demand for our print product has never been stronger. In 2015, based on requests from Basalt and Parachute, we found a way to add locations.

Digitally, through Monday, you collectively had come to the PI website 3,648,358 times over the course of the year. That’s 14 percent higher than in 2014. You had viewed more than 10 million pages of content, a 9.5 percent increase over last year. Credit goes to our news team as they provide the content that has you coming back more frequently.

Thank you for reading and have a safe, healthy and happy New Year.

Michael Bennett is publisher of the Post Independent.

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