When Alabama’s three largest newspapers announced plans to cut back to publishing to three days per week three weeks ago, people were caught off-guard at the news.
Then came the pain.
This week, 400 of their employees got the news about who would be keeping their jobs, and who wouldn’t. Some who got the bad news are friends and former co-workers of ours.
The owners of the company think their future lies in a blend of online news combined with a greatly reduced printing schedule. But at the same time that’s happening, billionaire Warren Buffet is investing in newspapers. He bought 63 of them, because he believes they have a bright future.
Changes in readers’ habits and increasing competition for advertising dollars have brought about changes in how news organizations do business, and there is no simple answer to the question of what the new business model will be in the future. We don’t expect to see a one-size-fits-all solution.
It’s encouraging to see the level of interest stirred by those announcements. It brings to mind the old saying that you don’t appreciate what you’ve got until it’s gone.
We appreciate the opportunity to bring our communities this local newspaper six days a week. We hope to keep doing that for a long time to come.