Associated Press shines light on The Berkshire Eagle

The Berkshire Eagle's revival started three years ago, when four investors with deep pockets and ties to the Berkshires took a leap of faith.

Dear Reader,

I am bursting with pride that The Eagle is featured in an in-depth article about the progress we have been making over the past several years. I hope you will read the article and make your own judgments; although I am clearly prejudiced, I believe it casts us in a most favorable light.

The article was written by Alexandra Olson, the national business writer for The Associated Press, and it has been republished hundreds of times this past week by news organizations including The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and CNN.

Ms. Olson's article comes on the heels of the publication of a similar article that appeared on the front page of The Boston Globe on Sunday, June 2. That article was written by Globe reporter Mark Shanahan. Interestingly, Mark's father, Ed, wrote for The Eagle between 1961 and 1965. The Globe's assessment of the recent developments at The Eagle was also quite complimentary.

To further "gild the lily," I have previously written about a series of awards that have been given to us over the past several months from the New England Newspaper & Press Association as well as the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Frankly, these have been heady days at The Eagle.

When my colleagues and I purchased the paper, we announced two goals: to make The Eagle the finest community newspaper in America and to build a company that would last 100 years. Our business plan was simple and concise: increase the quality of the content to attract more readers, which will, in turn, attract more advertisers.

The accolades we are receiving both locally and nationally attest to the fact that we are on the way toward making The Eagle America's finest community newspaper.

I believe honestly and modestly that we have reached "the end of the beginning" in this process of transformation, and the credit must go to the entire Eagle crew from the newsrooms in North Adams, Great Barrington and Pittsfield through the sales and administrative offices to the pressroom, mailroom and carriers.

Almost 200 people work for New England Newspapers, the company that publishes The Eagle, and most likely you know one or more of those folks. If so, and if you appreciate the changes that have been made to The Eagle over the last three years, please take a moment to say "thank you" when you see them or communicate with them on social media. They are a group of extremely talented and devoted journalists.

On the other hand, if you have issues or complaints, please send them my way.

The fact that we may have reached the end of the beginning of our quest for excellence does not guarantee that we will make it to the beginning of the end, or the end itself. We still have myriad hills to climb and obstacles to surmount, but we are facing these challenges with renewed vigor.

The support and praise we are receiving fuels that vigor, and I invite you to add to it. Buy the paper more often, write a letter to the editor, give a gift subscription, let our advertisers know when you patronize them, and please be proud to call The Berkshire Eagle your hometown newspaper.

Thanks so much.

Fredric Rutberg is the president, publisher and co-owner of The Berkshire Eagle.