So, the big news that I’ve been hinting to the past couple of days is that Danah and I are closing down The Oak Ridge Observer, the paper that we’ve been running.
You can see the formal message at the bottom of this post.
I’m still processing how I feel about all this, but more than anything, I feel relieved. As my friends know, I’ve worked my tail off the past nine years and while I’ve had the time of my life, it’s time for the next phase of my life.
Now, for a quick trip down memory lane. A quick photo essay, of my past nine years with The Oak Ridge Observer…
(Note: Hit pause at the bottom of the player, once it starts. It moves too fast and I couldn’t figure out how to slow it down.)
Thanks for watching. Danah and I are looking forward to 2014, and whatever new direction our life takes!
First media report: After nine-year run, Oak Ridge Observer closes.
Keep the faith,
Stan R. Mitchell
Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Observer to close
A statement from Stan Mitchell,
on behalf of The Oak Ridge Observer
My dear friends and residents of Oak Ridge,
It is with saddened heart that we announce today the closure of The Oak Ridge Observer. Closing this business, a business that I started at the age of 27 — more than nine long years ago — leaves me with a heavy heart.
But, alas, we could just never get the paper where it needed to be.
I’m personally very sorry that this didn’t work out, and I deeply appreciate all those who worked and strived toward making this dream a reality. So many people pulled together to try to help me make this work, and I thank each and every one of you.
I say with the greatest sense of apology that I am beyond sorry that I fell short of what was needed to make this enterprise successful.
My wife and I, as well as too many supporters, investors, and businesses to name, wanted this to work out more than anything in the world, and we gave all we could in pursuit of this dream. Our close friends know that Danah and I have sacrificed heavily the past nine years in pursuit of this project, working for low wages, skipping vacations, and sacrificing many comforts.
But ultimately, we fell short, and we refuse to make excuses or cast blame for it not working out. We apologize to our strong supporters and faithful fans, who shared the same vision as we did.
We hope all will remember the positive things from the past nine years and not the negative. We hope you will remember the good things that we have done, and not the times we erred or fell short or wrote something too harsh or judgmental.
We, as well, will do our best to remember the good times… the stories we broke, the compliments we received, the progress we hope we helped create.
And we will endeavor to not grow bitter at how it ended, and to not be angry that things didn’t work out as we had hoped. Instead, we will reflect on our victories, those days when we served the community with utter bliss, doing what we loved.
Finally, we hope the community will take note and learn from our closing, which we’re hearing has stunned many who thought we were financially sound. Let our fate be a lesson on how vulnerable small businesses truly are. Small business owners face nearly impossible odds, and we urge our readers and elected officials to do all that you can to support and encourage them.
Even such things as simple compliments and kind notes go miles toward encouraging these courageous individuals who put their livelihoods on the line each day. They are all a treasure to our beloved city. Each of them make Oak Ridge unique and provide far more support to local groups than their larger, corporate competitors, most of whom take profits out of our community and send them elsewhere.
Please help the small businesses. Support them. Encourage them. Spend with them.
We end by thanking all those who did likewise with us over these past nine years. It has been our greatest honor to serve you, the people of Oak Ridge and AndersonCounty.
For questions or to contact Stan, email email@example.com.
P.S. If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after surviving three years of war only to find himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron. And “Soldier On,” a short novel, follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to make it through the final, miserable months of World War II.