Columnists crave attention

By Karl Terry

It could be time to apply a little market research to these weekly missives I jokingly refer to as a column. I need to zero in on my audience a bit it seems.

For some 22 years I’ve written this column with one target audience in mind. Will my mother enjoy reading it? Will she clip it out of the newspaper and send it to relatives? These days I just worry whether or not she’s still reading my column.

Maybe there are other people out there willing to read me if I just offer them the right material.

After writing last week about chicken fried steak and cleverly leaving out the location of the restaurant where I had eaten a good CFS I was inundated with calls, e-mails and in-person requests for the low-down on where to eat. Who knew I had a talent as a restaurant critic? Or maybe my talents rest elsewhere.

I like the kind of feedback I got this week, crave it like a theater actor craves a standing ovation, but I’ve received so little over the years sometimes I’ve wondered if there was anyone out there.

My editor warned me when they moved my column to the cover of lifestyles on Sunday my audience might increase but I laughed at the thought. This chicken fried steak column has me wondering if I’m missing the boat and losing market share to other parts of the paper and other media on Sunday morning. So I propose a quick survey of my readers to sharpen my focus on who you are and what you want.

If you’re reading this in the print edition simply copy your answers onto a 20-dollar bill and mail them to me at Market Research c/o Karl Terry, 521 Pile Street, Clovis, N.M. 88101. If you’re too cheap to buy a subscription go online and copy and paste your answers in an e-mail to