Power source

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

There are probably only a few people in this area who can identify with this remark, but sometimes I forget how many people read these words, and how much a part of the conversation I am at tables I’m not sitting at. I guess much of the time, it’s more comfortable not to think that people are talking about me when I’m not around.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a Buy Local editor’s note and a Buy Local editorial. Last week, I wrote an editor’s note describing our chain-but-not-chain relationship to the Sacramento and Chico News & Reviews.

That chain column was on the streets about an hour and a half before I got a call in which a friend and reader mentioned some of the stuff in the column before asking me for advertising prices, which started a whole new conversation. Bottom line: I know nothing about advertising. I can’t tell you within $500 what we charge for a full-page ad. I spend dozens of hours every week talking to Sacramento art directors, and probably only an hour every week—usually within 15 feet of the mailbox or coffee machine—with our own advertising and office staff. Weird. The metaphorical distance between the second and third floor of 708 N. Center St. is greater than between the third floor and Sacramento, Calif.

Our non-editorial staff is every bit as active in the community as our editorial staff. I’m sure there are times they grimmace when they see some guy on the cover wearing a ballgag. But when you think about it, five of those people on the second floor—Linda Brown, Rich Hoskins, Gina Odegard, Bev Savage and John Murphy—actually cover more real estate in the paper you hold in your hand than the people whose names you recognize by bylines or pictures next to columns and stories.

This machine you hold in your hand is kind of cool. And it would no more work without the faces and names you don’t recognize than a three-legged stool would work with two legs.