Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Union Leader does some networking

We welcomed members of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce to the newly-renovated Union Leader offices at 100 William Loeb Drive recently. It was one of the chamber’s “Network P.M.” events in which a business member serves as cohost with the chamber. “Networking” is the operative word.

It was a good turnout, especially for a post-blizzard wintery night. It was interesting showing off our new space and explaining our business to 21st-century people. The business began in the 19th century.

We begin our 156th year as a daily newspaper this Saturday. Despite the fact that I have been here for not even one-third of that time, my kids and other higher-ups decided that I should be assigned to the “history section” of the tour.

“You’ve got five minutes,” I was informed. “So no long stories.”

I could have used an hour.

News companies, not just newspapers, are in challenging times. The Union Leader, Sunday News, and UnionLeader.com are meeting the challenges and continuing to provide valuable news and information for readers and a well-known and well-read brand for advertisers seeking an audience.

Our advertising team, led by Chief Operating Officer Jim Normandin, is offering innovative ways to connect advertiser and audience. We recently produced a special help-wanted section and presented it as the opening pages of the newspaper.

You might think that help wanted is pretty retro these days but the low unemployment rate in New Hampshire has employers looking for different opportunities.

The section got a lot of attention — and calls — for employers, so we will do it again next Monday, April 2.

Jim’s team is also hoping to help the real estate business with a similar front-and-center section set for Friday, April 13.

Those opportunities are helping us pay for the professional New Hampshire news reporting that is important for our readers and the state. It has been a hallmark of this news company since the first daily issue hit the streets on a snowy afternoon, the last day of March, 1863.

I think that we (you included) are fortunate that the late William and Nackey Loeb wanted to keep the company New Hampshire-owned and independent. The result is that the Union Leader’s primary owner is not an out-of-state or out-of-country conglomerate. It is the not-for-profit Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications, Inc.

You can learn about the school at www.loebschool.org. You can learn about New Hampshire through our pages, be they print or online, in an e-newsletter or a tweet or on other social media.

Write to Joe McQuaid at Publisher@unionleader.com or on Twitter at @deucecrew.