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Viewpoint: Happy 100th and counting

Liz Engel Clark
Wednesday, Jul 10, 2013

Every now and then comes a time that’s worth celebrating.

Instead of airing my opinion about flea markets, sustainability or the crapshoot that’s customer service these days, I’d like to toot our own horn as my “viewpoint” this month. Mostly because it’s been a busy month here at the Upper Cumberland Business Journal – and if you’re holding our latest edition in hand, you’ll know why. We’re celebrating an exciting milestone this July - our 100th issue.

At the core of this little celebration is a list – but not just any list. We thought it would be fun to publish our Top 100 headlines, combing through all the top stories we’ve published since our first copy hit the streets in January 2005, and I was tasked with that job. I’ll have to admit it was pretty overwhelming.

You see, I’ve only had a hand in 18 of those 100 issues – sidenote: happy two-year anniversary to me in October – and although I’ve been a Cookeville resident, officially, with my own home and everything, since 2006, it was a pretty heavy task. But one that offered a heavy nostalgic look back. So much has changed in our region in 100 editions – companies came and went, jobs were added and jobs were lost. Heck, the size, look and feel of the UCBJ has even changed. But the core of our mission has stayed the same…to serve our readers and share all those ups and downs together. And I know that the mission of those businesses and employers – to grow and thrive – is much of the same as well.

Why is 100 so significant? Besides being a big, round number, I really have no idea. But it’s significant to us because it means we’re still here to tell the stories of the region, and while, like most of you, we’ve certainly felt the effects of the recession, we’ve still got a LOT of fight left in us.

You might love the list, or you might hate it. You might grapple about the placement of this headline or that. But I think we’ve done an excellent job of picking the ones that have had the biggest economic impact on the region as a whole.

What gives a business story a lasting impact, you ask? Obviously, it’s not solely the impression it makes at the time the news breaks (“Oreck moves 400 jobs to Cookeville!”), but more the ripple effect it will have for years to come. It goes way beyond the five factors we usually consider news in the news business (which, going back to my journalism classes, are timeliness, significance, proximity, prominence and human interest). Hopefully, that’s evident. And, if for nothing else, the few side categories (our “top web hits” and “shockers” as an example) certainly made for some interesting in-house discussions. And in the interest of not hogging all the glory for ourselves, we invited many of our partners to help memorialize the occasion with us. You’ll see their stories scattered through the following pages. Be sure to check those out, too. It’s a sort of print party, just minus the candles.

So happy reading. And, if you don’t mind, give us your impressions. Tell us what should make have made the cut or what should have stayed in the archives instead. And here’s to 100 more editions of the UCBJ and more.

Liz Engel Clark is the editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal. She can be reached at (931) 528-8852 or

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