And so, a new era begins.

As you read on our business page a few weeks ago and again in his column Thursday, Chris Schanz has left The Commercial Review.

We’re sad to see him go, but are excited about his future both professionally and personally. (He’s getting married today.)

His departure leaves our newsroom as short-staffed as it has ever been.

Like many newspapers, we have reduced newsroom staff over the last several years. What was a staff of six reporters and editors 20 years ago and was still four full-timers and a part-timer as recently as 2017, is now down to three when “fully staffed.” (Those numbers do not include publisher Jack Ronald, whose newsroom workload has varied over the years based on staffing levels.)

Rose Skelly left her full-time role as a reporter in mid-August to pursue a master’s degree. With Chris now gone as well, that leaves editor Ray Cooney and Jack.

Needless to say, we’re stretched pretty thin.

We hope to have both positions — reporter and sports editor — filled as quickly as possible. But we’re not going to rush. There’s a reason Rose’s position remains open.

In situations like this, there can be a tendency to just want to get someone in place as soon as possible. We’ve been there, done that. It usually leads to a mistake that, eventually, causes more problems in the long term than it solved in the short term.

So while we want to move quickly, we’re also committed to making sure we find the sports editor and reporter we feel are the best fit for the job and the community.

In the meantime, we’re going to do our best to keep up with everything.

It’s going to be a challenge.

We can’t be in multiple places at once, so some meetings or athletic events we would normally cover might get missed. But our mission remains unchanged.

We will continue to strive to cover local government, events, personalities and sports at the level that has made us one of the best community newspapers in the state for years.

Rose, who we’re thrilled to still have doing some freelance work for us, and Chris are not easily replaced. We were lucky to have them.

And we hope we’ll be lucky enough to add two members to our team who will be able to make the impact that they did. — R.C.