It has been a few months since I last provided a blatant pat on the back to the staff of Credit Union Times. Sarah Snell Cooke and her team have outdone themselves in a challenging year to ensure we cover the news you need. Recently, a credit union CEO told me we provide "need to know" vs. "nice to know" information. We are thrilled to hear that and are committed to continue with much more of the same.The advertising sales staff has been creative this year in supporting market awareness for our clients with reduced budgets. We believe in helping those who make us strong in times of economic shortfall.It is fair to say this has been a year of change for many. The credit union movement is still struggling under the weight of the economy, and we have seen a shift in the way you are reading the news. We notice you are using as a resource for news on a daily basis. Site traffic is up 54.5% over the same period last year, with 99,428 individual readers going to the site for the last 30 days; 35% of these are new visitors. The number of pages viewed averages 250,000 per month since January. I am not aware of any other credit union publication Web site with this kind of audience interest and traffic.Our legacy print product has shown significant growth in 2009 as well. Circulation, which remains 100% paid, experienced a slight increase. Our digital issue has been gaining ground as an alternative to print for our green-conscience readers, and despite the economy, we remain the market leader in editorial news and ad pages published despite the claims of others.It is easy for me to make these claims because the numbers don't lie. Long-term strength outweighs one-time success anomalies. I prefer not to isolate a single successful month or well-sold supplement to win bragging rights.Besides, if we weren't the market leader why does everyone else want to work here? –Thomas R. Greve

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