My extraordinary 20-year journey with the Bermuda Sun sadly came to an end on Friday, July 25th. Losing a job is hard to handle, but the loss to me is harder as I am losing my family.
Back in June 1994, Randy French took a chance on me — a 27-year-old newspaper sales executive from the UK. He welcomed me to his sales team, his company and his family. Randy French is a rare man to have as a boss and mentor; he has worked in the trenches at both the Bermuda Sun and Island Press; he knows the intricacies of each and every role.
For years I have tried to analyze the effect Randy has on his staff and people in general, the loyalty he commands from his staff. He is a decent, humble man, without an ego. He has always been honest with me and he trusted me to manage his company — an opportunity and experience for which I will always be grateful.
As much as Randy’s decision to close the Bermuda Sun has broken his heart, it has broken my heart, too. My colleagues, clients and friends all recognise that my job was my life, my focus, and I don’t regret the extra hours that I invested in the newspaper, along with all of my co-workers, who were dedicated to the newspaper. From the first day I joined the Bermuda Sun, I believed in the newspaper product, and I was proud to represent the company. I confidently approached businesses about the benefits of being associated with us through advertising.
It has been a privilege to work with an incredibly dynamic team of talented people. Even though we have been financially challenged as a company for years, we’ve always attracted and retained a dedicated team who have tried so hard to dig us out of the financial hole. Our belief in each other and our mission to produce a top-quality news source for Bermuda has sustained our determination and drive to be successful, despite the challenges.
I shall miss my colleagues very much. Long-serving team members — editor, Tony McWilliam and deputy editor, Don Burgess — we’ve weathered many media storms together and in a way we have grown up together. We have been a family, we care for each other; I’ve made friendships that I will treasure forever.
The Bermuda Sun’s caring disposition extended to our clients/advertisers, who also believed in the value of advertising with us and willingly supported our newspaper, features and supplements. We’ve had fun with them; we’ve been sympathetic, creative and innovative — we only ever wanted the best results for our clients.
It has been a pleasure to work with so many wonderful business owners, marketing managers and advertising agencies.
Thank you to all of my friends, clients, readers, former Bermuda Sun employees and acquaintances who have taken the time to email me and phone me, sending me their condolences and kind words of support. I really appreciate each and every one of you making the effort to comfort me.
As the front door of the Bermuda Sun closes today, another door will hopefully open for each of us. Printed newspapers may be under siege, but the compilation and presentation of news is still crucial to all of us. Without accurate, fair and honest journalism, none of us can make good decisions or form solid opinions. I hope that for the past 50 years we have done our job well and educated our readers, enlightened them and entertained them.
Most of all, I feel confident that we upheld our slogan of being a ‘Friend to The Community’.