It was the week between Christmas and New Year’s of December 2002. My Father called me and had something very important he wanted to talk to Michelle and me about. He would not discuss it over the phone, so of course, Michelle and I were worried it might be health-related.
I remember it like it was yesterday, Carol joined us and the four of us sat at the counter in what my Father referred to as his Texas room. We were relieved when he said he had a business proposal. At the time he owned Webb Communications – the old Grit, and he wanted to start a publication.
As the four of us sat there and discussed it, we all agreed it was a good idea. There was only one sticking point between my Father and I. He wanted to be an all advertising direct mail piece, where I wanted to combine the advertising with a feel-good newspaper. His reasoning for this was solid; the cost of postage to mail the product to every home in Lycoming County was significant and editorial space does not produce revenue. I can’t say he was wrong; I’ll get to that a little later. I just believed it needed to be about the people, places, and events of our area to be successful. When we left my Father’s house that night, he was still mulling the idea over in his mind. Fathers and Sons that are in business together can completely understand this. It has to become the father’s idea. I completely get it and appreciate it now that I’m older and have two sons.
The next day my Father called me to inform me he had spoken with Scott Lowery and he was coming on board as a sports writer. Scott was also going to talk with Bill Byham about joining the team. The rest is pretty much history from there. The Webb Weekly was born; the first issue was actually called the Webb Communications, if you remember, direct mailed to over 50,000 homes in Lycoming County.
A funny thing then happened on the way to the ballpark, several of us informed my father he should write and be on page 2 from the publisher. He was not real big on this idea at first. Wow did that change over the years. He enjoyed writing his column each week and especially enjoyed the conversations with people about his columns. It did not matter if it was local, state or federal government issues, he had a way of writing with which the majority overwhelming agreed. He could boil issues down to their simplest form.
Most also enjoyed his humorous writings, like those of his trips South and Indian Joe. I’m sure many of you remember the adventures, and he was always up for a good April Fool’s story. Now you know the rest of the story.
All of us at Webb Weekly would like to thank you for welcoming us into your home. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 15 years! Our distribution has grown to over 58,000 residences as we have now spilled into the counties adjacent to us. And boy do I get what my Dad was talking about with the postage bill. We spend an average of over $12,000 a week.
Thank you to our clients who advertise. Many have been with us since the beginning. We value each and every relationship and consider ourselves a partner with you in business.
We believe in doing business locally, and trying to keep revenue here at home. Thank you to all our readers that support the businesses that advertise in the Webb Weekly. At the end of the day, that’s what makes it all possible.
I must also thank the United States Postal Service for all they do each and every week. I’m sure somebody knows the total number of Webb Weeklys delivered in the last 15 years, it has to be staggering.
It has been a true team effort at the Webb Weekly, and I would like to thank all those over the years that contributed. A tip of the cap to all who have been part of a great group of writers. It’s always interesting to hear from folks who their favorite writer is and why. We have tried to provide a product everyone can read and enjoy, while also contributing and making our communities better.
The next serious meeting my Father, Carol, Michelle and I had at that counter in the Texas room was, unfortunately, the last; it was when he informed us what we feared that evening we first discussed the Webb Weekly. He left us shortly after that in October 2012. He will be forever missed. As well as Bill Byham, Rosemary Neidig, Tom Paternostro and Louise Ulmer.
Again, thank you to all our readers and advertising clients. It has been a wonderful fifteen years, and we look forward to bringing you our family-oriented publication each and every week. If you have any ideas or suggestions, as always, please reach out to me. I too enjoy those conversations just like my Father.
God Bless America.