Courtesy of Curtis Pharmacy

Site Stuff: Our bond with WPXI grows


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VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- We aren't a TV company or a multimedia company, but we're proud to be partners with WPXI, Pittsburgh's very best in that category.

Now more than ever.

Readers have seen our partnership in motion for years, through Sunday night's 'Subway Final Word,' the seasonal '11 On The Ice' Penguins show and other ventures, from being part of regular newscasts to sharing tips and clips to other online initiatives. It's been both fun and mutually rewarding, particularly given the caliber of the people at the station, most closely Chase Williams, Alby Oxenreiter, Dean Iampietro, Kellie Burkett and Kevin Hayes.

But now we're going a couple steps further, and we couldn't be more excited:

• There's a new weekly program called 'Halftime Adjustments.' It's available online and on your smart TV, too, if you download the new WPXI Now app. Here's the first episode from this past Wednesday, with Alby Oxenreiter and me discussing a bunch of Steelers/Penguins/Pirates topics for a half-hour:

• There's also an expanded content-sharing arrangement in the works, one in which some of our free material -- almost always straight news -- will be available on their sports page. They'll still have to come here for the full article, so it's a win-win in that we'll bring new eyeballs here from one of the city's busiest websites.

The possibilities are endless, really, and our minds collectively start swirling all over when we get to talking. But, as ever -- and I remind of this a lot -- we're 100 percent independent.

(Oh, and no, this was not the Big Announcement.)


The past five years have been stressful and frustrating and scary, but the fulfillment and satisfaction that comes from building something with your own hands makes it all worth it. This business pushes us every day. We grow. We learn new things. We meet amazing people. At the same time, everything we know, everything we do right followed many, many mistakes --all emotionally and financially taxing.

There was no template for this kind of business. Not one example!

This is why I was so excited when Fred Hildebrand, founder of Fortify Franchising, partnered with us this spring. If any of you are at a point in your life where the time is right to be your own boss, you have the option to buy a franchise with proven processes and tools for success.  Someone else figured it all out for you, made all the mistakes first. Boy, I really wish we had that!

Every time I talk to Fred, I learn about different options that are available. Some more expected, like a specialty donut shop, others, totally out of the ordinary like a crime scene cleanup. Here is a bit more about those two:

Donuts: This franchise model is simple and efficient, with a brick-and-mortar presence and  a small team of employees. Donuts are a billion-dollar industry and growing. The idea of a fresh, made-to-order donut along with premium coffee drinks is a segment that this franchise will fill. I mean -- how can you go wrong with donuts? You don't even need restaurant experience for this one!

Crime and trauma scene cleanup:  A franchise that's home-based/truck-based with a low investment level. This is perfect for a retired law enforcement officer due to their expansive networks in the area, or a veteran. The marketing campaigns are industry-specific, innovative and have proven successful for years. This type of franchise has the ability to grow faster and generate higher margins than any other cleaning or restoration franchise on the market.

There are so many more option out there! Call Fred, he can tell you all about it. He is an awesome, super smart dude. Here is his number: 602-882-5162 and email:

Please tell him I sent you.  — Dali Kovacevic


With Dave Molinari aboard, we've updated our TV ad, created and produced by Thad Christian and our friends at Mount Washington-based Phenomenon Post. Amazing how this thing has stood up for nearly five years. They did such a nice job.

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