Changing times at the newspaper
We have received many phone calls, emails and heard talk on the street in regard to the recent announcement pertaining to the Monday printed edition of The Jamestown Sun. I will assure you this was not an easy decision for any of us to make at The Sun. However, it was necessary in order for us to continue to be the source of news and information for the greater Jamestown community and beyond.
We have made many adjustments to our operation over the last several years as our business continues to change. The decision to go digital only on Monday was not made in haste. It was the result of months of deliberation and discussion.
The Jamestown Sun is a business. As with any business, revenue needs to exceed expenses in order for us to continue to be able to serve the community. Recent shifts in advertising and escalating costs of newsprint have forced us to adjust our daily operation to ensure our business is sustainable. Advertising and subscriber revenue is what makes it possible for The Jamestown Sun to operate. We appreciate the community's support in both areas.
Also, as society shifts there is a growing audience that prefers to consume their content through various digital mediums.
I am certain many of you have experienced an increasingly digitally-centric change in your lifestyle or place of business. As we observe frequently during trips to the grocery store, it appears to be less and less common to witness someone writing a check to pay his or her bill. No longer are we required to sit in lines at a bank or wait for the mail to confirm our banking transactions. We instead look them up online.
In regard to the changing advertising landscape here are a two examples of changes we've needed to adjust to as our advertising clients are also adapting to changes:
Many of our larger, local clients are mandated by their manufacturers to reduce their dollars in print advertising and replace them with digital. Unfortunately those advertising investments are made through outside national firms that have no local impact for their communities.
Also, clients which once ran weekly print ads, then switched to inserts, are now asking their customers to sign up for an app to automatically send their customers sale info via text.
Certainly, we understand that all businesses will need to continue to make dynamic change in order to stay viable and open for business. The good news is that our company is committed to assisting all businesses to promote themselves in the community and we have the expertise to do that in print and digital formats.
What I have just mentioned is a small fraction of what the newspaper industry has faced over the last several years, and because of this it is imperative that we prepare and strengthen our efforts to be sustainable for the next 100 years.
Our newspaper's owner, Forum Communications Company, is a family-run business with approximately 1,400 employees, with ties to local newspapers for over 135 years.
I have been involved with an outside corporate ownership which bought the business from the local Hansen family. That ownership did little to invest in the community and due to legal issues is now no longer in business.
I am grateful to say that The Jamestown Sun along with Forum Communications Company has donated millions of dollars back to their publishing communities.
In the end, this decision was not meant to antagonize or ignore our print audience, but instead keep and grow our overall audience. Our strategy will continue the strong emphasis on local news and information. We also will print a newspaper Tuesday through Saturday as long as there is support from local business (advertising) and from the community (subscribers).
I would like to thank the many callers and voices of concern over the past couple of weeks. If you have additional questions, or wish to have me come by your place of business, I will gratefully do so.
Thank you for being a valued customer.