Richard Connor: Say goodbye to 2019 – the good, the bad, the hopeful

New Year's cartoon

We are wrapping up the year with the current issue of the Business Press. December is actually a slow month and we are using it to prepare for many new and dramatic changes to our business model. The next issue will be published Jan. 13; in the meantime, we’ll keep in touch with our website and our email newsletters.

You’ll have to wait until January to read about the specifics but, no, we are not going “all digital,” which is what some folks continue to recommend to everyone in our business. We do have major design renovations under way for our AM/PM newsletters and our website. Our social media platforms will also get a makeover. But bigger changes are in store.

I have never been afraid to experiment and be a disrupter in our business. The reason is simple. At our most elemental we are a manufacturing business. We manufacture our product weekly. Some do it daily. We can change almost everything we do from one edition to the next. If we make a change that our readers and advertisers don’t like we can go right back to what we were doing before the change. We get instant feedback and can respond immediately.

Few in our business do this. I have done it over and over.

- FWBP Digital Partners -

Some businesses don’t have this luxury. If you’re building cars and a new model is a flop it can take years to correct the mistake and develop a new one. Remember the Edsel? Few of you do and my recollection confirms my membership in the baby boomer generation.

“OK, Boomer,” as the newcomers like to say, at least somewhat derisively.

When we look back at 2019 we will remember Donald Trump, Donald Trump and Donald Trump. Twitter. Quid pro quo. Impeachment. We will be reminded, if not in a positive way, that what we were always told is true: Anyone can grow up to be president.

Locally, we will recall how the Tarrant Regional Water District has continued to mismanage the Panther Island project, with its construction delays, escalating costs, traffic detours and bridges to nowhere. The good news: Once Mayor Betsy Price decided the project was not floating her boat, she became involved and some changes have taken place. But the federal money needed to complete project remains hostage to political gridlock in Washington.

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However it ends, Panther Island will likely stand as the greatest boondoggle in the history of Fort Worth. And the “boondogglers” are still being handsomely paid for their incompetence. Is this a great country, state and city, or what?

There have been remarkable triumphs and unthinkable tragedies. The killing of Atatiana Jefferson at the hands of a Fort Worth police officer stands out as the city’s darkest moment of 2019.

On the bright side, a memorable highlight was the completion and opening of Dickies Arena, the new Fort Worth treasure that will forever change the city’s entertainment scene. Go to Dallas? For what?

As we say goodbye to a year that had its share of ups and downs, highs and lows, successes and setbacks, let’s rejoice in a season that is made for rejoicing and then let’s charge hard into 2020.

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Richard Connor is president and publisher of the Fort Worth Business Press. Contact him at