Who We Are
We're the Internet version of
Abilene Reporter-News, which is the oldest continuous business
in Abilene, Texas ... established only months after the town
in 1881.The online version of the newspaper - Reporternews.com - makes its way to people
all over the world. And we have a lot of other content on the
site as well, including one of the most comprehensive Dallas Cowboys sites online, GOfridaynight.com, PrayForRain.net, and much more. We're even
home to Memoriams.net,
an online memorial venture.
If you have a moment, check out
of web sites.
But we're more than that. Even
though we repurpose a significant amount of print content online,
we also have Texas-wide and nation-wide content online that isn't
in the local newspaper. We "separate out" content so
you don't have to. With everything from sports
we want to provide you a user-friendly way to get your information.
It's much cheaper, of course, to place content online than on
paper, and we're dedicated to making that online content easy
to find through a well-organized site (see our site
index), and a search engine that meets your needs ...
as well as a page where you can easily search
We're not going to duplicate
a printed newspaper on your monitor, as do some sites. You find
your information differently in a printed newspaper than you
do online, and we want to be organized in such a way that you
can find that news and information as easily with your computer
as you can by thumbing through the various sections of a printed
newspaper. Both versions have merit, and we honestly believe
you shouldn't be without either one. And, just so you know, we
don't put the entire content of our printed newspaper online.
That's one reason the Internet version remains free! And, of
course, we want to keep circulation of the print product healthy.
So, why not subscribe
to our printed newspaper now and get everything!?
We also believe in interactivity.
People are flocking to the Internet for chatrooms and other interactivity as well
as a variety of content. We also want to make it easy for you
to not only give our online product feedback but our print product
as well. Such links for sending a letter,
giving feedback, asking for help,
etc., are scattered throughout our site.
The Beginning: How We
In the late fall of 1994, about
a year after the browser Mosaic appeared and signaled that a
new and exciting Information Super Highway was indeed being constructed,
former Abilene Reporter-News publisher Frank Puckett (retired
July 31, 2000) returned from a meeting talking about the Internet
and something called "the worldwide web." That seems
like a Millennium ago.
Puckett didn't know if The Web
was just a fad or The Next Great Thing, but he recognized the
importance of the "level-playing field" it brought
to the information-disseminating business, and he wanted to make
sure the Abilene Reporter-News stayed out front ... "protecting
the franchise but also looking to the future."
In late January 1995, James Langford
of the Abilene Christian University Center for Teaching Excellence
showed self-described "computer-illiterate managing editor"
Danny Reagan how to code HTML with the help of BBEdit Lite and
a shareware program called Fetch. With that hour of training,
the purchase of a handy "My Little Mac" book and a
small Powerbook 150, the online newspaper launched quietly into
"space" on the first Monday afternoon in February 1995.
ACU graciously hosted the initial content on its LAN server.
Being in on the beginning of
a "history" was exciting for several people at the
newspaper, especially the editor at the time, Glenn Dromgoole,
who had to give up a lot of his managing editor's time. He, too,
saw the promise of the new media and gave his full blessing to
At first, Reporter OnLine received
a couple of hundred hits a week, but during vacations and holidays,
births and illnesses, server crashes and drained batteries, the
site was continually updated for those few eyeballs that saw
us ... thanks to that little Powerbook and the nearest phone
In the spring of 1995, we transferred
our content to a commercial host-server and expanded operations.
During our history, we've made a total of seven migrations of
content to larger and larger servers: from the ACU server to
Abilene Online's commercial server; to a shared server in Corpus
Christi; to a bigger Corpus server; to Internet America; to E.W.
Scripps' Cincinnati headquarters; and finally to E.W. Scripps-Knoxville,
where our content resides today on a beefy cluster of redundant
We were the third newspaper in
Texas to have presence on the Web - behind the Austin American-Statesman's
full-blown site and a Dallas Morning News opinion page
- and only the second to offer news updated daily. Although it's
hard to find the actual "rank," we were among the first
100 or so newspapers to go online. Today, that total worldwide
is well over 2,000.
In the fall of 1995, Reagan filled
a niche on the Web by creating a series of Dallas Cowboys pages on our site. There
were only a smattering of fan offerings on the web at the time
... no news sites. Gradually we began adding more content and
more timely updates and interactivity, and we soon had the most
complete Dallas Cowboys site on the web. Scores of people who
joined our virtual community of chatters at that time are still
with us today, more than six years later.
In the spring of 1996, we registered
the domain name texnews.com
(we were thinking "big" even then) and began sharing
a Web server with our sister paper in Corpus Christi - The Caller-Times.
By the summer of 1996, when the
infamous Michael Irvin trial began in Dallas and we covered it
online as breaking news, we were setting traffic records daily.
In just a matter of months we had gone from receiving 30,000
hits a month to well over 35,000 hits a DAY. Although the Dallas
Cowboys directory garners about 50 percent of our traffic, the
rest of reporter-news.com enjoys continuing growth as a result.
As we entered the third quarter of year 2000, the site was receiving
well over TWO MILLION page views -- not hits -- a month.
In the closing days of 2002,
we switched from a "static" HTML site to a dynamically-created,
database-driven site created by Scripps Technology and the Vignette
corporation -- offering you many new features and us the opportunity
to concentrate on outstanding Web journalism, rather than coding
Where We're Going
We're constantly working on re-designing
our web site. And we'll keep placing additional content on the
site as well as updating the look, feel and functionality of
it. Marketing solutions for our advertisers are a reality now,
as well as "vertical" solutions (such as BigCountryJobs.com
that will help our advertisers sell their products quicker and
offer our online users more and more value and convenience to
their "wired time."
We receive anywhere from 50,000
to 80,000 page accesses on the reporter-news.com family
of web sites each DAY. The number of users just keeps growing.
We receive more than TWO MILLION page views a month now.
That translates to between 13,000 and 20,000 unique
visitors a day.
We will continue to strive -
as our positioning statement proclaims - to be "Your
Place in Space." And that goes doubly for those Internet
users who are trying to find news and information about the state
of Texas. This will be where they come to find that information...and
where sponsors place their banners to sell their products or
services to those people.
We now have more than 60,000
pages of content that are keyword searchable, and we add scores
more each day.
Judging by the traffic in our
and the numerous e-mail messages we receive almost each day commenting
on our site, the demographics of our site must follow fairly
closely the ever-changing demographics of the Web. More and more
women are visiting us, and even though more men may visit our
Dallas Cowboys directory,
we're sure that all ages of both sexes visit us regularly.
We have been used on more than
one occasion by universities as a reference site, and considering
the variety of educational domains that register on our server
logs, a large segment of college students frequent us for one
reason or another.
We do not put all the content
of the printed newspaper online as of yet, but we include most
of the local news and information, plus hundreds of additional
stories on Texas news and sports each week. We want people from
all over the world to know that they can come to our site for
Abilene and area news and information, and to find out what's
happening in Texas.
We are never content with our
look or satisfied with the amount of information we provide.
We want to enhance both our visual presence and wealth of content
for our Internet users and for our local, regional and national
advertisers who want to reach a large audience.
Since the beginning, we've wanted
to become THE Texas site on the Internet. We feel alliances
with our E.W.
Scripps sister papers, our recent re-integration into the
ARN newsroom, introduction of our dynamically-created site, and
aggressive pursuit of new technology will help us reach that
Thanks for going along for the
Interim Webmaster / Content/Media Editor
(Click on links below
for print-format information-
Reader plug-in required -- FREE.)
Online Rate Card (PDF)
Our media profile (PDF - includes all
About Reporter Publishing (PDF)
AR-N Daily Features (PDF)
AR-N Daily Sections (PDF)
Products and Services (PDF)
Dyess PeaceMaker (PDF)
The Money Clip (PDF)
Targeted Sections (PDF)
AR-N Circulation (PDF)
AR-N Readership by Age, Income (PDF)
Abilene Employment (PDF)
Abilene Market Profile (PDF)
Click HERE for today's Reporter-News Online Edition
For info on our online product, click HERE
To advertise online, click HERE