We want to be honest with you — real honest.
We are struggling.
We are struggling right along with you.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on businesses throughout our community and on newspapers throughout the country. Newspapers across the nation are eliminating print publication days, furloughing staff and, we fear, going out of business. We don’t want that to happen here.
We are working hard every day to save your community newspaper but it’s not easy.
We have lost, and continue to lose, a significant portion of our advertising revenue.
Businesses in our community have shuttered, some temporarily and, we fear, some permanently.
The Valdosta Daily Times is one of the oldest businesses in this community.
We have withstood wars, hurricanes, floods, fires and tornadoes.
But we’ve never faced anything quite like this.
None of us have.
The impact on our business is significant, and we know we may never look quite the same again.
We are having to do things differently and with fewer resources.
The loss in revenue is forcing us into decisions that we hoped we’d never have to make.
We know what we do — providing necessary news and information — is important to you, and we know you have come to expect certain things in your community newspaper.
We also know you may not like some of the decisions that we are forced to make.
We don’t like it either.
We are certain you will notice that the editions will be smaller, meaning that some of the things you have come to expect will no longer be included in your newspaper each day.
There are two significant developments that we hope you understand. First, we must reduce our costs because of the free fall in revenue and fewer pages means less expense. Second, with no local or national sporting events, there is less to cover; with no school there are no school news submissions and with no community events, there is less to share with you. You get the idea.
We will also no longer be able to offer the expanded Sunday color comics section. It has always been an expensive section to produce and print for each Sunday edition and we, quite frankly, just can’t afford to do it anymore.
On Sunday, we will be able to provide you with the same comics page we provide on weekdays. We will also no longer have a second comics page and puzzle on Tuesdays. We will no longer be able to provide the weekday TV listings.
Even with all of this, we will continue to struggle to be able to provide you with timely news and information in print and online, but we are committed to working hard every day to do just that for as long as we can.
A few more people have subscribed to the newspaper since the coronavirus crisis began, and we started telling you about the things we are doing each day to keep you informed — but it just hasn’t been enough, not nearly enough, to offset the losses in advertising revenue.
We do appreciate those new subscribers and also the handful of advertisers who have been able to keep advertising during all of this. If others of you are able to support the journalism through subscriptions or advertising, it will help some and, of course, be deeply appreciated.
We know that you will not like reading all of this, but we do hope you at least understand.
Thank you for reading The Valdosta Daily Times.