In the Spring of 2010, I had three kids attending Brentwood Middle and High Schools and some free time on my hands. I decided a fun part-time sales job might be the perfect thing to keep me out of the mall. I had no idea that 10 years later my fun, part-time job selling ads for the Brentwood Home Page would turn into a full-time sales career.
Over the past decade, the Home Pages have grown from one site to five hyper-local news sites covering all the news in Williamson County. Originally at just five employees, I’ve seen our numbers grow to 10 or more plus many freelance writers and photographers in order to cover breaking news, house fires, school board decisions, local politics, new developments, real estate, sports — the list goes on and on.
And while news keeps happening and more residents move to Williamson County to call it home, sadly the pandemic has hit us like it has hit many other businesses. A number of local boutiques, home goods stores and restaurants who were former advertising customers have closed up shop. Some businesses have moved to social media to promote to try and save money or they now buy paid advertising on search engines rather than advertise with the locals.
Despite these challenges, we have more readers and pageviews per month than we ever have — meaning readership is way up, but income is down. This issue is not just affecting the Home Pages, but news companies all around the country. The new business model organizations are moving to in order to boost revenue is to offer membership programs in addition to paid advertising.
In short, by joining the Home Page Community, you’d be paying for the great reporting you’ve been getting for free. The next time you walk into a bookstore or go to the movie theater, remember you’re paying your fair share to enjoy the talents of the writer, author and photographer’s work.
Why would you expect anything less from a well-respected organization like the Home Pages?