Remembering Kevin

I was here for a little over three months when our publisher, Kevin Crosbie died in April.

I can tell you that he was fine the day before his death. He had come in early to fix a server problem and was upbeat, smiling and running around all morning.

His death was sudden and tragic and , still, we put out the paper the day we found out and each day since. We haven’t stopped. Kevin wouldn’t have had it any other way.

I will always remember his kindness and his commitment to news.

I don’t want to be the one to tell you that he was a great man.

Our current publisher, and Kevin’s wife, Patrice Crosbie wrote a column this past Saturday that I have to share in full.


When normal isn’t normal anymore. What happens next?
Chronicle Publisher

Life happens day after day. It can be simple or it can be complicated. We get used to it. We get used to things being the same. It’s comfortable and familiar. Then, all of a sudden, what used to be normal turns into something very, very different. A very special man named Kevin Crosbie was my husband. He was the publisher of this newspaper. He died on April 17, 2012, and then what was normal turned into something very, very different.

Kevin was a very good publisher. Newspapers, the Chronicle specifically, were literally in his blood. As a fifth-generation publisher, he knew the business inside and out. He dedicated himself to maintaining the quality and integrity of this newspaper which has been in his family for 135 years. He grew up in it. He knew the who, what, when, where, why and how of it all. His instinct and knowledge of the industry were unparalleled.

As publisher of the Chronicle, he also championed the community. He grew up in it. It was a duty which he took upon himself. This was his community and he made sure it got what it needed even if it meant that he went without. He was the George Bailey of Willimantic. Unfortunately for all of us, he is not coming back like George did in the movie. What happens now is that we must find a way to continue on, even though what was normal, and comfortable and familiar, is now very, very different.What happens next?

The Chronicle continues to be published each day because of the people who work at the paper. They have been the bedrock for maintaining the stability of printing this daily, independent newspaper since 1877. More than 50 people work at the Chronicle.

Some of those people have worked here for a long time. One has been here 56 years, two have been here for 33 years, six have been here more than 20 years, and another six have more than 14 years. Bedrock-solid and dedicated. Their normal is now very, very different. The publisher they used to work for is suddenly gone. The publisher they work for now is his widow. What happens next?

Change happens next. Not drastic change, but change. No one likes drastic change. And some don’t even like slight change. But change we must. Will I do things differently than Kevin? Yes and no. Yes, because obviously I am not him. And no, because he and I and our family have a very strong sense of community and putting others before ourselves. Some things will still be the same, and comfortable and familiar, but there will be changes over time.

I have never worked at a newspaper before. I am learning. I am asking lots of questions and I am listening very carefully too. My father has always told me “You learn so much when you listen,” and so I am listening. I am being helped by many who know this business better than I do. I am confident that change will bring growth. The Chronicle will change and grow and be the paper you have always counted on and more.

If you are reading this then you are probably already a subscriber. We thank you for that. We thank you for bringing this paper into your home or work. We thank you for staying informed about your town and for speaking out when you agree or disagree with what you have read. We thank you for laughing and crying with us through good times and bad. We thank you for smiling when you see a picture of a bride and groom, or a familiar athlete or a pastoral scene that you recognize. If you are an advertiser, we thank you. Thank you for trusting us to print your ad in our publications. Thank you for knowing that your ad is in good hands.

What would our world be like without newspapers? Think about it. No newspapers. Nothing to pick up and read about what happened in the world, the nation, your town, your neighborhood. No accountability or information about government, politics, special interests, schools, business, life. Nothing to put in a scrapbook. We need newspapers. Printed, delivered- in your- hands newspapers. The world changes. Technology changes. Technology helps us print the newspaper.

We need to change and stay the same. It’s challenging. We will continue to print the Chronicle with the same quality and integrity you have counted on.

We will try new things and rely on old standards. What used to be normal, and comfortable and familiar is now very, very different. But we have a guardian angel on our side.

Patrice Crosbie is the publisher of the Chronicle.


2 Responses to Remembering Kevin

  1. Pingback: A Rivalry in Print | Just Starting Out

  2. Pingback: The Next Step and a New Year | Just Starting Out

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