Today is the 15th anniversary of Guidry News Service, which Lynda and I established on July 8, 1996 with the publication of Galveston Fax, a daily newsletter covering posted public meetings on Galveston Island and distributed solely by fax. Our First Issue
Those who have supported us with subscriptions and advertising throughout the years have seen the publication grow from delivery via the simple fax machine to email and the Internet. While it was welcomed by a news-hungry audience as radio news and local newspapers began a rapid decline in relevancy, the name of our initial publication, Galveston Fax, was destined to a short life.
Our coverage quickly expanded from Galveston Island to include all 13 municipal governments and nine school districts in Galveston County and then over the next few years to encompass city councils, commissioners courts and school districts in five counties, as well as regional entities that serve the entire Gulf Coast.
When it was time to put the “Fax” to rest and our mission had expanded to other communities, we chose the name Gulf Coast E-news as the banner for our daily publication. Our primary concentration is on Upper Texas Coast and eastward. We now regularly cover news of port authorities from Port Freeport in Texas to Port Manitee on the western Gulf Coast of Florida as well as other important initiatives impacting the entire Gulf Coast of the United States.
We launched GuidryNews.com, The Online News Station, in 1997. The Internet, while still in its infancy, delivering its signal through dial-up modems, only hinted at its ability to provide audio and video documentation of news. It has now matured into the most predominant news media on Earth and GuidryNews.com has grown along with it.
And we have not abandoned print journalism. For the past three years we have published the Guidry News Gazette, a free weekly newspaper that is posted as a PDF document on GuidryNews.com each Monday. The newspaper provides a concise review of the past week’s highlights of the region's public meetings, and events, and a preview of the next week’s meetings, events and entertainment opportunities.
I often describe our daily newsletter, Gulf Coast E-news, as serving a “niche” audience because of our concentration on the full agenda of public meetings, which newspapers and other media do not attempt. But an official at a major entity that we cover corrected me recently.
“You fill a huge gap, not a niche,” he said, noting that there is no other reliable source for much of the information that we publish.
And our information is becoming more accessible to our growing and increasingly mobile audience.
The tools to receive our news on the Internet are becoming more portable and have become integral to the daily lives of our subscribers and visitors. This includes smart phones, notebook computers and other gadgets that put our product into the hands of our audience.
In the early days it was exciting to walk into an office and see a copy of Galveston Fax on someone’s desk. Imagine my personal pride when just yesterday I was at a cocktail party and saw a guest pull his iPhone from his pocket to read an article we had published in Thursday’s issue of Gulf Coast E-news. At the same time, he checked our Obituary Page link in the newsletter.
Two and one-half years ago Lynda and I relocated our home and headquarters to Houston. We continue to maintain offices in the historic Marine Building in Downtown Galveston and the historic San Jacinto Building in Downtown Beaumont. In addition, Garrett Bryce, our managing editor maintains an office in Brazoria County and my brother Carl Guidry operates from an office in Port Arthur.
We have had a good time for the past 15 years and we have had a lot of help and encouragement along the way. Our sincere gratitude goes out to those who value our products and services and have supported our organization through subscriptions and advertising all these years.
Lynda and I pledge to continue to strive for excellence as we cover meetings, special events and other news of the communities of the Gulf Coast Region.