Much has changed since the first edition of The People which was published by Pete Edwards in February 1998 in the spare bedroom of his home. The first issue, which contained just 12 black and white pages, caused quite a stir when 4,000 copies hit the streets of Bradley County.
In the first five years, the newspaper was up to 28 pages, including full color photos and ads, with a circulation of 7,000 copies. In 2003 The People News made its way into the homes and businesses across the globe via the worldwide web, launching its web site www.thepeoplenews.com in April. This was followed up in May 2003 by the development of its sponsored free online business directory dedicated to promoting local merchants and service industries in the Cleveland, Tennessee and Bradley County area.
Designed with the consumer in mind www.clevelandbradleybusiness.com features directory listings, an alphabetical listing for easy searching, and showcase links to individual businesses. No login information or passwords are required for access to the site. If large or small local businesses wish to advertise online, a showcase site can be designed and maintained for a small monthly fee. This is an ideal option for companies and retailers who may be unable to maintain their own web site.
In 2008, Tonya Brantley joined The People News and soon after became managing editor. Tonya brought to the paper a broader scope of news coverage which included coverage of city and county meetings and extra investigative reporting. The People News covers all local government meetings to keep citizens well informed.
With so many meetings taking place throughout each month, it became necessary for Tonya to have an assistant to help with reporting. On January 17, 2009, The People News welcomed media assistant Ashley Murphy who regularly covers the meetings of the Bradley County Commission, Finance Committee and the Airport Authority.
In 2009 Tonya Brantley left The People News and the task of managing editor was handed over to Ashley Murphy who had proved herself a very able recipient.
With a 2009 circulation at 10,000, The People News also improved its web site by having the printed version available online in .pdf format. Most recently, the quality and clarity of the printed version was also upgraded using cutting edge technology.
In 2010 The People News became a totally electronic newspaper with the elimination of the printed version. In addition, that year also saw the introduction of The Grapevine, an online blog accessed from www.thepeoplenews.com home page. Because of the rising cost of newsprint and the decrease in advertising revenue due to the sagging economy, it was necessary to decrease operating costs. We hope the online version satisfies the needs of our regular readers.
We would also like to thank all our readers, writers and advertisers for the success of this unique little newspaper. With their continued help and support, The People News and the Cleveland Bradley Business web sites look forward to many more exiting years of informative and entertaining reading and helpful service to the community.