About Hollidaysburg Herald
What is the Hollidaysburg Herald?
Pretty simple - It's a new source of reliable news for the Hollidaysburg area.
This is no fly-by-night pop up "local news" source that's really some lonely guy in his basement hoping to make a few bucks by complaining about borough council. This is a real, honest-to-gosh news website from a company that's been providing community news since 1885.
You've probably heard of the Morrisons Cove Herald. Yup, that paper. The MC Herald is a weekly community newspaper that's been part of the Morrisons Cove community for 134 years. That credibility, experience and news-gathering skill is now at the service of Hollidaysburg, Duncansville and the surrounding area.
The Herald is owned by Allan and Karen Bassler. Allan grew up in Hollidaysburg and graduated from Hollidaysburg Area High School in 1984. His class was known as the "Geniuses Bound to Change the World." Ok, that's a lie. But Allan did grow up on Jones Street in Hollidaysburg, had an Altoona Mirror paper route for many years and did somehow convince Hollidaysburg High to give him a diploma in 1984. If you attended the school around that same time, you might remember the nerdy kid with glasses, a really bad haircut and an affinity for the Chess Club and Dungeons & Dragons. (Oh, yes. The Blunder Years.)
Well, Allan grew up (as we all have) and with a complete disregard for the need to earn a living wage, went into the field of journalism. He bounced around there for a while, working for the Altoona Mirror and running a weekly community newspaper in Allegan Michigan, The Allegan County News. (You might see where this is going.)
He took a detour for a while into financial services, but he's really bad at math so that didn't go so well. Luckily, Allan had spent some time living in the Cove (Curryville, to be exact) before he lived in Hollidaysburg. So he knew the Cove and it's people and had some relatives there. This led to the purchase of the Morrisons Cove Herald by Allan and his wonderful wife Karen (around the time that Karen started asking if he was ever going to make enough money to eventually retire.)
Allan and Karen bought the MC Herald in 2008, just in time for the national economy to go right off the cliff. But a love of journalism, a determination to succeed and a loyal readership combined to help the MC Herald not only survive the recession but to emerge as a better newspaper.
OK, wrap this up
As he has wandered the lanes of weekly community journalism in Morrisons Cove, Allan has always wondered why the wonderful little town where he grew up, Hollidaysburg, could be such a great place and the county seat to boot but did not have its own newspaper. There is apparently no good answer to this question or I'm not smart enough to figure it out.
But what I am smart enough to figure out is that Hollidaysburg (and Duncansville, too) NEED their own news source. It's a great area to live, work and play and an engaged community and ... well, it's just time. Time for Hollidaysburg to have its own reliable news source.
So now it does. With journalistic skills finely honed by years at the helm of the MC Herald, an energetic and dedicated staff and a MUCH better haircut, Allan presents to you: The Hollidaysburg Herald.
We've pulled in some pretty good people to run this. The experienced office pros at the MC Herald will be handling all the back-office stuff that you readers don't have to worry about. Gary Baranec, a local professional photographer with decades of news and sports photography experience, has graciously agreed not only to shoot our photos but is also helping with marketing and publicity. Gary gave me a break on price, because believe me, there's no way I could afford him until this thing gets going. Writing for us and also not too shabby behind the lens is someone some of you might know -- Jill Brubaker Reigh. Jill loves the Hollidaysburg/Duncansville area and has been writing about the area for the MC Herald for years. Now we're be able to put her talents in front of her hometown audience. Rick Boston (great name, huh?) wears the fedora and will be covering cops, crime and the courts. Rick loves his job (and is a natural at it) but has been known to get lost between his house and garage, so if you see him wandering about looking confused, please help!
And, last but not least, we're in the market for a correspondent. So if you know someone who would like a solid part-time job writing about Hollidaysburg and Duncansville, please call me at 793-2144. Or if that person is you, please check out our job opening posted to indeed.com. Search for "community news reporter" in the Hollidaysburg, PA area (duh).
A few additional notes
I have to give a shout-out to Duncansville. I actually lived there for several years (Here's looking at you, Maple Hollow Townhouses!) and I met a lot of my best lifelong friends there. And I know Jim Ott and although he's not the Sheriff of Duncansville anymore, he's now the Sheriff of Blair County. Jim's a good guy.
Is this site free? Kind of. But here's where we run into reality. One, someone's gotta pay for all this. There are writers and photographers and rent and electricity and Subway sandwiches to pay for at lunchtime. Not to mention the fact that, like anything else, if you want something worth having, you're going to have to pay for it. My grandfather was right. There's no such thing as a free lunch. Not even Subway.
So, this is the way it will work: Yes, the site will require a paid subscription. Now, I know there's not a whole lot of content on here now, but that's going to change in a hurry. So you'll be able to peek at a few stories for free each month but then the paywall is going to come down and remind you: There's No Free Lunch, Buddy. Pay up! Please do! We've got an introductory rate of less than two bucks a month. Come on! You can swing that for reliable news about the town you love.
Next, if I can convince a couple of companies and businesses in the Hollidaysburg area that this is a great way to reach great customers, then that will help pay the freight too. The more advertisers the site has, the less I have to charge subscribers. So if you're a business owner or manager -- or know someone who is -- please tell 'em to give me a call at 793-2144. We've got a great deal for Founding Sponsors. Jump on this bandwagon and say you helped support the Hollidaysburg Herald get launched. (That’s “launched,” not “lunched.” Geez, I must be hungry.)
Last, there's going to be merch. Or swag. Or whatever you call it. I paid some team way too much money to design a professional logo and you'll see it not only on this site (with this story, of course) but we'll be slapping it on T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags and even stray dogs if they don't move fast enough.
Last word -- for now
My last note for now: There are going to be glitches, problems and setbacks. Things are going to spark and jam up and quit working right. That's OK. That's all part of launching a start-up. All I ask is:
1) Please be patient. We'll get it right. Report any problems to [email protected] or (814) 793-2144.
2) See Number 1 above. Let us know if something's not right. We sit here behind all the machinery and we can't always see the customer "experience" (as the consultants call it). So let us know when it's not right.
That's it. I'll shut up now. Oh, wait! One more thing: THIS IS YOUR NEWS SOURCE. Tell me what you want. Comment on stories. Write letters to the editor. And please, please, tell your friends to check out HollidaysburgHerald.com.
Thanks for reading.