The Big 25!
Jan. 1, 2020 signaled a significant professional personal milestone—25 years as editor of the print/online newspaper of the Westchester County Board of Realtors, Westchester-Putnam Association of Realtors and the modern-day Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.
Back in January 1995, I was at a professional crossroads and was hired by then WCBR Chief Executive Officer P. Gilbert Mercurio to take over as editor of the Board’s monthly newspaper Westchester Realtor. Almost immediately, Gil and I discussed launching a new type of membership newspaper that would not only publish association-related news, but would include major industry-related trends and breaking news stories in the market area to arm readers and association members with useful information and insight. A year later in January 1996, the first edition of Real Estate In-Depth was published to much fanfare among the membership.
Since that time, the association and the newspaper have expanded significantly. Westchester Realtor and Real Estate In-Depth had a circulation of a little more than 3,000 subscribers back in 1995, 1996. Today, with the expansion of HGAR into Putnam, Rockland, Orange and Sullivan counties in the Hudson Valley, as well as in the Bronx and Manhattan where the newspaper has a significant number of readers, the monthly print run now approaches 14,000.
In the past 25 years, the newspaper has adeptly covered a number of market booms and busts and also chronicled the growth of the association and its ever-increasing influence on the Mid-Hudson and New York City metro markets.
In 2021, we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Real Estate In-Depth with a special supplement that will feature some of the major stories the newspaper has covered over the past quarter century. The online version of the newspaper at www.realestateindepth.com was launched about five years ago and today features articles from the print newspaper, as well as breaking news stories and viewpoints of interest to real estate professionals in the Hudson Valley and New York metro region.
A recent survey conducted by HGAR of its membership found Real Estate In-Depth to be one of the most popular services offered by the association. Those involved with the production of the newspaper were heartened by the survey results, which deepen our collective steadfast commitment to consistently provide the membership with a quality publication that will assist them in providing the services their customers desire.
On a personal note, I am excited about what lies ahead for the real estate industry and for Real Estate In-Depth in 2020 and beyond. Trying to predict the future of real estate and media can be tricky, daunting and at times outright scary. However, let me stress that the publisher—the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors—and the many writers and staff that contribute to the newspaper are resolute in providing information to help its readers and HGAR members achieve success and help facilitate the growth of Real Estate In-Depth for years to come.
My father once told me that if you love what you do for a living, you are beating 95% of the population. Thanks to those who contribute to the publication and all of the loyal readers of Real Estate In-Depth, I can count myself among the lucky and grateful 5%.
With your indulgence I would like to give special thanks to those who have helped make serving as editor of Westchester Realtor and Real Estate In-Depth such a pleasant and at times joyful experience.
I am so grateful to former WCBR/WPAR CEO P. Gilbert Mercurio and HGAR CEO Richard Haggerty for their unwavering support and guidance over the past 25 years; the Board Presidents and volunteer officers and directors and the dedicated association staff that have assisted in having the newspaper achieve its mission.
I would also be remiss not to acknowledge HGAR COO Ann Garti; newspaper photographer John Vecchiolla, who also began providing professional and quality photography to HGAR’s publications 25 years ago; as well as Bart D’Andrea of Meadow Art & Design who has provided graphic services for the newspaper and association for 40 years.
If I missed anyone, don’t get angry. Send me an email and I will include you in the 2021 Anniversary supplement. A final note to all current contributors and staff, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to not be so cranky on deadline.