Cheektowaga resident launches news website

Why would anyone start an online news publication devoted to covering the Town of Cheektowaga?

It wasn’t a decision that came easy to say the least – the thought of quitting my full-time job to begin writing a new chapter in my family’s life.  Will the bills get paid?  Am I throwing away the rest of my career?

Chronicle Publisher Jim Herr (R) shoots a selfie with his wife Jessica Malowicki-Herr while vacationing in the Outer Banks, North Carolina on September 8, 2011. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Chronicle Publisher Jim Herr (R) shoots a selfie with his wife Jessica Malowicki-Herr while vacationing in the Outer Banks, North Carolina on September 8, 2011. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

My wife Jessica and I finally made the decision after months of well thought out discussions and discernment. Eight weeks ago I submitted my letter of resignation, but I still didn’t know what trajectory my career was going.  I didn’t have any jobs lined up, nor was I looking. I stepped away out of the need to help my wife recover from ongoing injuries suffered over a year ago.

We would need some additional income.  We are fortunate in the fact that I can pickup some seasonal work, but that will soon dry up for the year in April.  So, what kind of job would allow me to support my family both financially and emotionally throughout the whole year?  It hit me midway through January – I introduce you to CheektowagaChronicle.com.

From Idea to Reality

The idea for this website was planted many years ago and fertilized by a meeting with Howard Owens the publisher of The Batavian in Genesee County.  In debt with no savings and just starting our lives together, Jess and I let the idea die on the vine.

You may think you can control your own destiny, but I’m a true believer that God has a mysterious way of guiding you in the direction of his choosing.  We were two shining stars that were both destined for jobs in a big city television newsroom.  That all changed on one beautiful fall day in 2015. Family and friends near to us know what occurred and I hope you understand our choice in not sharing the exact details about this life changing event.

Fast forward to today.  Now fiscally able, the idea that I once thought died on the vine, had a resurrection of sorts and here we are.

Jim Herr covering the Buffalo Bills during their NFL football training camp in Pittsford, N.Y., Monday, July 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)
Jim Herr covering the Buffalo Bills during their NFL football training camp in Pittsford, N.Y., Monday, July 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

In the age of “fake news” allegations and ample choices for local news on the Internet, why should you trust Cheektowaga Chronicle to be a voice for our community?  I bring ten years of honored experience in journalism to this business.  I’m also a lifelong resident and homeowner in Cheektowaga. I have skin in the game and I want to do everything I can to see our community succeed.

The mission of this website is to build a community that values and advocates for local journalism.  We’ll cover the news of the day, enterprise in-depth investigative reports that hold our leaders accountable and care for our community by telling the human interest stories of our neighbors. Please join us in being a loyal reader.

At the end of the day, a smarter Cheektowaga is a better Cheektowaga.

Sincerely,
Jim Herr, II