Get ready for a big surprise

Something gets into us this time of year.

Two years ago October, Verde Valley Newspapers began three-times-a-week publication of the Verde Independent and Camp Verde Bugle, a move that has been well received by both readers and advertisers.

Last October, we began a major office remodeling project.

In fact, this time 13 years ago, Verde Valley Newspapers helped launch Verde River Days. We’re still a major sponsor.

It’s the time of year. Something gets into us.

This October, we have a new publication for you — yes, another one. I can’t recall Verde Valley Newspapers ever being accused of complacency.

Our mission is to be the Verde Valley’s information provider so we examined what’s missing in the market, what would be attractive to advertisers and, most importantly, we listened to our readers. You may recall the survey that 400 of you completed several months ago. We took a hard look at the survey results and at the demographics of the region. We looked at how we are utilizing our resources and what readers really find useful and care about. The publication that emerged is very exciting to us. We believe it’s a winner with readers and advertisers.

We’re calling it KUDOS — The Good Life. The debut publication is Oct 3 and then every Wednesday thereafter.

KUDOS will focus on Verde Valley–Sedona leisure activities featuring what’s coming up in such areas as entertainment, events, arts, and music. Other regular components will be book reviews, movie reviews, a movie synopsis, a “Remember When” photo page. The DateBook pages will include a changing calendar of local happenings plus the goings on in Flagstaff and Prescott. It’s a guide to entertainment with a community feel as we tune into interesting people with interesting hobbies and businesses in the business of fun and excitement.

KUDOS will be a regular Wednesday insert in the Verde Independent and Camp Verde Bugle. For years, we have been direct mailing bi-weekly or monthly publications to Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek. Beginning Oct. 3, KUDOS will replace these irregularly mailed pieces. KUDOS will be mailed every Wednesday to every Sedona and Village of Oak Creek residential mailing address. Hotels and motels also will receive tourist copies. KUDOS has the content readers tell us they want and will use and it will have what advertisers want: 39,000 readers every week.

One thing KUDOS will not have is TV listing information. TV listings will still be a part of our Friday newspaper but we’re scaling back our investment in producing a comprehensive guide to TV. Instead of listings for 34 cable channels, we will have listings for the top 16. Obviously, a segment of our readers will be upset with this cutback.

Ooooooh, if we could only do it all.

Oooooooh, if we could only please everyone.

But the changes in our TV section are being made for three important reasons: 1) Times have changed. Today we have on-tv guides, cable TV guides, satelite TV guides, TV Guide. TV information is available in many different forms. A large segment of our readership does not use the TV listings publication. 2) Businesses in general seldom request that their advertising be placed in the TV section 3) Shifting emphasis and resources to KUDOS means providing more of what readers and advertisers are looking for.

We hope that on balance the value of KUDOS offsets the vexation some will feel from the altered TV section.

Something gets into us this time of year. It’s almost October.

And when this something gets into us, something good comes out of it.

KUDOS is coming.

Dick Larson is the publisher of Verde Valley Newspapers, Inc. — The Verde Independent, Camp Verde Bugle and now ... Kudos.

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