OK, here's a marketing pitch from a guy who normally doesn't have to worry about what our advertising says.
But in this case, it's newspapers, and it's the newspaper I love.
Here's the pitch: If you're reading this in print, you'll soon be a subscriber to another newspaper — and not just any newspaper. You'll be a digital subscriber to the Washington Post, the storied and venerable daily paper of our nation's capital.
I am, as you'd probably guess and hope, a shameless newspaper junkie. Ironically, though, I don't necessarily get the same morning thrill at seeing what the headlines are — I already know them. And instead of scouring the paper to see what I missed the day before, more often than not, I look to make sure everything's there, and we spelled headlines correctly.
However, if you subscribe to the Billings Gazette, we're excited to announce that you'll soon be a digital subscriber to The Washington Post. For free.
We'll be beginning a partnership with The Post, like many other newspapers. It allows us to offer additional stories, perspectives and news to our subscribers as a bonus. We realize that many of our readers are not only newspaper junkies, they're also political junkies, and this provides a direct pipeline to "the beltway."
The access is simple: If you're a print subscriber who activated your billingsgazette.com account, you'll be getting an email from The Washington Post. It will include instructions how to register for the online edition for free. Just follow the instructions and you'll be given access to the capital newspaper.
Our franchise, mission and passion is local news. For us, that means a coverage area of nearly 100,000 square miles, covering more than half the state of Montana and northern Wyoming. We love covering the people, issues and events of that region. But, that's a region that's roughly equivalent to the size of Illinois and Iowa combined.
This allows us to provide premium national, world and political coverage that will enhance the coverage our subscribers see daily on The Gazette pages.
Many of you have been participating in The Billings Gazette's "Cooking Columnist Challenge."
The mission was to find a new recipe and cooking columnist after longtime editor and writer Joyce Michels retired. Instead of me hand-picking the next columnist, I left it up to you, the readers, to decide who should be our next columnist.
The response has been great. We've gotten a lot of feedback. The most common feedback was: I wish all of them could stay. They were all so enjoyable.
So, for Carol Green, Carolyn Story, Dorothy Bonk, Sandy Alley and Bernie Mason, I appreciate the time and effort that you put into the work. Readers truly enjoyed it.
However, five cooking columnists every week would be a bit much to manage.
Readers have done a great job narrowing the cooking columnist field. And, so today, I have another announcement: There's been enough traffic and positive feedback that The Gazette will begin carrying another local cooking columnist. Instead of one a week, there'll be two.
The top two vote-getters from our challenge are (drum roll, please) — Sandy Alley and Bernie Mason.
I am certain that they will be a great addition to our Wednesday Health and food sections.