By Andrea Rosato-Taylor
It is bitter-sweet to retire from something one loves to do. I have enjoyed my career in the newspaper and media business for the past 36 years.
I started out in the San Francisco Bay Area where I worked for the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner. When I started in 1986 a single page of “classified” advertising was valued at $20,000 dollars. At that time we printed 20 pages in each Saturday edition. The government would monitor newspaper classified advertising as the monitor of jobs vacancies, real estate values or other metrics. They would count the number of ads which would tell the economics of the market.
Working for the Chronicle and Examiner was history meets Hollywood. So many great people, experiences and stories. It was more than a job it was a passion and a tradition to be a part of that organization. I worked with William Randolf Hearst III and other Hearst family members; oh, the stories they would tell about family, history and the art of creating a compelling newspaper. I also worked for Phil Bronstein, Managing Editor for the San Francisco Examiner, who was married to actress Sharon Stone. We heard all about the courtship. We weren’t just writing about the stories we were the story.
The wonderful thing about newspapers is that no two days are alike. I am always meeting new people, hearing new stories, creating new ideas; it is very entrepreneurial. Newspapering is to live by your wits and problem-solving ability; while working at a very fast pace.
Two decades ago I married my Canadian husband, immigrated to British Columbia and began a grand experience working for the Vancouver Sun and Province. I worked on the 5th floor on the Vancouver waterfront across from the Fairmont Hotel, looking out on the cruise ship terminal. The view of the North Shore was gorgeous. I commuted on the sky-train to downtown Vancouver to run this 80-person call centre.
This was the beginning of the digital age and newspaper websites. In my role, I was able to create new digital media products that were rolled out across Canada. I travelled across the company’s various newspaper properties to places like Winnipeg and Regina. I was a California girl, what did I know about places like the Canadian prairies. The experience taught me about Canadian fortitude and the vastness of the country I decided to make my home. I loved every minute of it.
My last stop on the newspaper train was coming to the Ladysmith Chronicle which brought all new experiences. I have never worked in a small community before.
I have learned how responsive and generous this community is, people care. There is no anonymity, everyone puts themselves out for the greater good. We work for a common goal, the betterment of Ladysmith, its citizens and organizations. I estimate that we must have more volunteers per capita than any other community. I have enjoyed being a part of the fabric of this lovely town. I love this paper and this community.
I am saying goodbye to my role as publisher with the Chronicle, but I am not saying goodbye to the community. This community is my home. I intend to stay here and continue working in the community.
My board of the Ladysmith Downtown Business Association and I will continue to work hard for our members. I recently became a board member for the Ladysmith Art Council, and I am a director of the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce.
So, farewell, adieu, see you later but not goodbye. I will see you around.