October marks the thirteenth anniversary of the Andover Beacon. The Board of Directors and Staff of the Beacon are looking forward to many more anniversaries in the future. As we begin our fourteenth year there are some changes taking place as this edition goes to press in the Beacon Staff as well as the location of our office.
Donnette McGill, the current Editor/Publisher has announced that she will be stepping down, but has agreed to stay on to help during the transition. After meeting with the Board of Directors it was decided to restructure the Beacon Staff. The Board of Directors is hoping that the transition will be an easy one as no new staff wi ll need to be hired. Going forward, Shelley Geoghegan, who currently serves as the Bookkeeper will add to her duties the job of Publisher, overseeing the business side of the Beacon as well as public relations and Board support. Steve Foley, currently the Production Manager will add to his responsibility that of Editor. Instead of three positions there will be only two, the Publisher and the Editor. All of the business side of things will be under the responsibility of the Publisher and the editing and production duties will be the responsibility of the Editor.
Shelley Geoghegan, who has been with the Beacon since January of 2016, learned of the Bookkeeper position through Pam Cooper, an Andover resident who provides volunteer accounting support and oversight to the business operations of the newspaper. Pam knew Shelley by way of her other job as Office Manager of the Kearsarge Community Presbyterian Church in New London, where she continues to work part-time. As soon as she met Charlie and Sharon, and learned about the newspaper and the town, she knew this would be a perfect fit. Having earned her MBA at Franklin Pierce University, she has prior experience serving as an Executive Director of a small community-based nonprofit. She has also run her own businesses and worked in the field of international advertising. Shelley and her husband plan to move to the area soon. She loves meeting new people.
Steve Foley has worked as an ad and layout designer for the Beacon since 2014. After the retirement of Charlie Darling, he took on the role of Production Manager. Foley stated: “I remember the first time I looked at a copy of the Beacon. I was very impressed with the look and quality of the paper. It has been very satisfying to be a part of the Beacon and become more involved in what is happening in Andover. Although I don’t live in Andover, I feel a strong connection to the town and the people who live here.” Foley retired from the Franklin Fire Department in 2001, where he served as deputy chief, and has since served as the Executive Director of Franklin Opera House and learned graphic design while working for Piper Printing Co. for many years.
The Beacon has temporarily taken up residence in the office next to the former office, downstairs in the Andover Town Offices. The TV Station crew has generously made room in their office until we have a permanent home. We are actively looking at options for a permanent place to call home. Meanwhile, we welcome our readers and supporters to visit us in person when they have news to share or other business. A schedule will be posted on the office door soon.
The Beacon has been successful over the last 13 years due to the dedication of Charlie Darling, who served as publisher and editor for 12 years, and a dedicated group of volunteers who have put in countless hours editing, proofreading, writing, labeling, doing bookkeeping, and many other tasks. The Beacon would not survive without volunteers! If you would like to get involved, please contact us at 735-6099.
Printed newspapers are a dying breed in the new electronic age, but the Beacon is still healthy and we plan to continue to print the paper for the foreseeable future. AndoverBeacon.com provides the newspaper on-line and makes it available to anyone anywhere. At some point it will probably not be cost effective to publish the news in print. and Former Publisher/Editor Charlie Darling, who now serves on the board of directors, has a strong interest in the future of the Beacon and has offered to work with the board and staff to prepare the Beacon for changes that will inevitably need to happen in the future. We look forward to working with Charlie as we explore how to keep the Beacon relevant in an electronic age.
One of the ongoing challenges for the Beacon is fundraising. It costs almost $100,000 per year to publish 11 issues and maintain the website. Only about one third of that is covered by ad sales and subscriptions. The remainder must be raised through donations. Although the Beacon is mailed each month to about 1400 households, traditionally only between 200 and 300 people donate to the Beacon each year. If you value the Beacon, please let us know by sending your contribution today.
With your support, Andover will continue to be one of very few communities in New Hampshire to have a newspaper of it’s own. Let us know what you would like to see in the Beacon. If you see news happening, please let us know, or submit an article. Come and join the Beacon team. We look forward to working with you as we strive to continue to make the Beacon “your newspaper.”