“So, They Did a Thing…”: Arnold Sentinel Under Familiar Ownership

“So, They Did a Thing…”: Arnold Sentinel Under Familiar Ownership
Janet Larreau (left) and Debbie Connelly (right) have teamed up to buy the "Arnold Sentinel." Photo credit: Tammy Weinman

ARNOLD – On October 1, 2022, Janet Larreau and Debbie Connelly officially became owners and publishers of The Arnold Sentinel, purchasing the weekly newspaper from Lacy McCarthy.

“Lacy has owned the paper for the past six years and kept it local. She offered it to one, or both of us, and we felt that a partnership was best, because we consider ourselves equals. We wanted to continue to keep the paper local into the future, as long as we can. This community is known for being progressive and supportive of each other. We have faith in that and in our many loyal subscribers both near and far,” said Janet.

“It wasn’t a decision we made lightly. Many newspapers – large and small – are going out of business, but there are hundreds of people who want to stay connected to Arnold and its people. One of our out-of-state subscribers renewed for six years in one shot. They have faith in us. How do you say no to that? We have both seen so many needs in the community met because of the newspaper’s coverage. We know the impact that it has on the town, its organizations, businesses, and the school.”

The new partners will continue to operate out of the beautifully restored building that Lacy and Rob McCarthy will retain ownership of. The business will continue as usual, including offering design services, large and small print jobs, printed stationary, and office supplies.

When the time came to make the announcement in the newspaper, Debbie, a Millennial, came up with the main headline, and Baby Boomer Janet thought up the sub-heading. It’s how they have worked together for the past four years, sharing ideas and responsibilities to put out the weekly paper.

For those not in the know, the chill phrase ‘So, we did a thing…’ is used by Millennials to make an announcement on social media. For Janet, who has been a familiar face in the Sentinel since going to work for Bill and Helen Crosland way back in the 80s, the sub-heading made sense. Both women are now familiar faces both in the office and when they are out in the community.

“The two generations are a perfect match,” said Janet. “Debbie has a 10-year-old in the Arnold School system, so she is connected with who all the kids are and all that is happening there, like I used to be when my daughter was in school. She is on top of social media, where we sometimes find ideas for full feature stories. I dabble in it. I’m more connected with the alumni and have the editorial and writing experience in the community.”

Janet’s title will be managing editor and Debbie’s will be office manager.

“After she was hired, Debbie brought a lot of energy into the office and learned quickly. She has the perfect personality for the newspaper business. She is loyal, pays attention to detail, and never puts things off – you really can’t here. It’s fun watching her multi-task very efficiently. I’ve taught her, but at the same time she has taught me easier ways to do things,” said Janet.

“I like to work smarter, rather than harder. As long as the work gets done correctly, it doesn’t matter how you do it,” said Debbie. “I’ve learned a lot from Janet with my social skills. We (Millennials) don’t have very many social skills. I listened to her talking to people and when she was on the phone. I had to learn to use a landline and wondered why we had phone books. I still wonder why, although I have found myself using one. What we have is rare. There are not many Boomers and Millennials that can work together. We are now business partners. How awesome is that?”