From the publisher: My job touches worlds of news, advertising, business

When I go into the grocery store, I’m like a kid in a candy shop.

Many of you know my husband, Randy, retired many years ago to care for me, our daughter and later my parents. So while I’ve been working, he has done all the hard work of paying bills, fixing this and that, cooking and cleaning and errands and shopping.

I’m essentially not allowed to cook, which is fine with all parties. But I get to gleefully tag along to the grocery store now and then.

The dizzying array of items is fascinating! As a marketer, I’m intrigued by brands, packaging and products. I look at who’s advertising what, how they’re positioned, and what catches my eye.

While Randy is methodically cruising aisles with his lists, I browse and dawdle and study. And I plop nifty things into the cart: Sushi, breath mint strips, 100-calorie brownie bites, reduced-fat crunchy peanut butter.

This drives Randy crazy. Aside from disrupting his routine and getting lost in Aisle 4, I’m buying things that are not on sale.

With our modest backgrounds, we’re both quite frugal. But he has developed an expertise around pricing and coupons that governs what he buys where and when.

Ten cents adds up. Ten dollars off grocery coupons are worth their weight in vegetables. Twenty percent off at a restaurant inspires us to give them a try. (We’ll then leave a bigger tip because we’re happy with the bargain.)

For Randy, it’s less about saving money than about getting a great deal because you planned well. I should note he is a tad susceptible to advertising messages. When we lived in Washington, DC, we heard a radio ad for a Mexican restaurant: the Crabby Sombrero. It so captivated Randy, we drove miles and miles…like an hour!…only to find a dive at the end of our journey. He still calls it a great advertisement, which apparently it was.

As publisher and president of the News-Press Media Group I get to engage in both the news and advertising departments, keeping a finger on the pulse of consumers, businesses and readers.

We in the media business are most proud of the power of news content, the heart of who we are. Over the years, we’ve helped rally the community behind fighting hunger, providing blankets for the homeless, elevating the quality of education, and more.

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