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January 26, 2012

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Nine years just isn’t 10, now is it?

January marks the ninth anniversary of The Pulse (though born in December, we celebrate in January), and we couldn’t be more, well, distracted. Chattanooga is facing many issues—lingering economic doubts, a crisis of leadership, gang violence. To say self-reflection has not been the first thing on our minds is an understatement. Still, there’s cause to celebrate.

“Nine years means nothing, 10 means everything,” said Zachary Cooper, co-founder and publisher of The Pulse, a man not given to hyperbole. “We have had nine years to make our share of mistakes, learn from them and create great issues. Our readership has grown considerably, with a circulation of about 37,000. Thank you for that. We haven’t scaled out either, so there is much more to be seen in this weekly alternative.”

Cooper doesn’t rest on laurels, but the fact that The Pulse continues to grow and make an impact gives us reason to believe we will almost certainly greet that coveted 10th anniversary in January 2013 with the appropriate satisfaction. We’re here to stay, for better or worse—and we like to think “for better,” thank you very much.

Since its inception, The Pulse has documented the myriad cultural and artistic entertainment options available to the community, something no other publication has done with as much conviction. As core components of the publication, this will never change.

Emphasis on these sustaining elements of livability is as relevant to today’s Chattanoogans as it was nine years ago. There is a certain vibrancy each city possesses, a core identity that comes from its culture—equal parts business, environment, arts and music. Here at The Pulse we concentrate more heavily on the latter.

The arts—music, theatre, visual art, performance, literature, et al—form our culture and the city’s livability quotient. It’s that quotient that will make all the difference in recruiting and retaining long-term residents, whether they come for Volkswagen or Amazon, study at our institutions of higher learning or are attracted by the expanding technological opportunities. We write for an informed audience and make no apologies. We expect our city to evolve along those parameters. When it does not, we’ll make noise.

For nine years, The Pulse has stayed true to its mission, but we are not afraid to retool and make adjustments. Our recent redesign, the constant, thoughtful review of our content have become routine exercises. We hope that shows.

We have not yet reached a decade in print, but our nine-year quest to increase awareness of this city’s cultural progress is worth noting. Just before we published our first issue we were surprised by the premier of a similar arts paper the week before. Luckily, we kept our focus on our mission and content, a dedication that has led us here today.

To celebrate, we have teamed with Track 29 for the inaugural Winterfest. Cooper said the idea is akin to The Pulse’s annual State of the Arts issue, published each summer just before the visual and performing arts season begins. The difference is that Winterfest is a public event. The idea is to celebrate not so much our own milestone (although be certain we will) but to revel in the culture we cover and adore—in this case, to showcase local music and bring an inexpensive music festival featuring some of Chattanooga’s best bands together for one night. Call it our gift to the city. More information on Winterfest can be found in our feature story, “Back Stage,” on Page 8, and in The List on Page 11.

As we toast to our progress, we thank you for your readership. We hope that The Pulse continues to inform and entertain you for many years to come.

by

January 26, 2012

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