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Newspaper thankful for loyal readers, staff

This is the season to be thankful; for us here at the DAILYLEADER a time to say thanks to each of you who invite us into yourhomes each day and give your valuable time by sitting down andreading through our pages.

For without the over 19,000 of you who read us daily we wouldnot be preparing for our 120th birthday next February – a milestonefor any business but a special milestone for us. For in this day ofconsolidation and mergers, the DAILY LEADER remains a locally ownedand operated newspaper.

2002 has been a trying year for us, as we have had to deal witha recession, the double whammy on the local economy of thebankruptcy of WorldCom and the ripple effect on area residents. Asa company, we have had to deal with personnel changes as weredirect our efforts to make ourselves into a better and strongernewspaper that is more reflective of the wants and needs of ourreaders.

Each day I am humbled as I walk through the differentdepartments that make up the newspaper and see the efforts beingput forth by the talented and dedicated individuals who make up ourstaff. I am humbled because these people are so dedicated toputting out a quality newspaper and are so willing to go the extramile to see that we do just that. There are easier ways to make aliving, but these folks are dedicated to making a difference inthis community.

It takes a lot of people to produce a newspaper six days a week.From reporters to editors; from graphic artists to plate andpressroom staff; from front office and accounting office personnelto advertising sales representatives, it takes a large group ofdedicated individuals. To insure the LEADER gets delivered to yourdoor, it takes another group of hard working folks who make up ourmailroom staff. Their job it is to pull everything together readyfor delivery.

The final step in the process each day comes from our unsungheroes, the contract carriers who deliver the newspaper to you.Collectively, these folks drive over a thousand miles each day toget the DAILY LEADER delivered to homes in a five-county area fromFranklin County to Lawrence County and from Copiah County to PikeCounty and all points in between. Think these people are notdedicated? Try driving around the country roads in the early hoursof a Sunday morning, during a pouring rain when you could be in athome in a warm bed!

Yes, it is humbling. As I reflect back during this thanksgivingseason, I realized how blessed this company is, how blessed I am,and say thank you to our staff and contract carriers for yourefforts. But even more importantly, I say thank you to our readersfor your support, because without you there would be nonewspaper.