Both Sides Now
As many of you know, Freedom Communications, which owns The Orange County Register, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month. The filing might appear to be another nail in the coffin of an industry that seems to be “circling the drain.” The reduction in the size (the number of pages) of newspapers plus a reduction in the number of days that many papers distribute could be construed as evidence that newspapers are on their way out.
And you might think, “Gee, what does that mean for CV Weekly? Robin and her staff must be scared silly.” But actually no – we’re not worried at all.
It has been obvious to me that larger papers like The Orange County Register have had an identity crisis for the last several years. They don’t know who their audience is, whom it is that they serve. However, I’m proud to say that from the day the CV Weekly hit the streets in the fall of 2009 we knew who we were catering to: you. Mary O’Keefe and I were eager to share with our friends and neighbors what was going on in the Crescenta Valley and surrounding areas. And our advertisers also realized that to reach the precious foothills community the best way to do it was by advertising in the CV Weekly. That’s why you’ll see scattered among the pages of the CV Weekly comments like, “Support this paper, visit our advertisers.” These are the folks, along with our subscribers, who invest in this paper, which keeps it afloat.
That’s not to say that we haven’t had rough times. Remember that we launched in the fall of 2009 just as the Great Recession hit. Times were tough, but our readers and advertisers encouraged us to stick with it. If I questioned whether or not starting a paper was a smart idea, I need look no further than billionaire Warren Buffett who in March bought two more small newspapers to add to his stable. And if I ever wondered if anyone gave a darn whether CV Weekly closed or not, I can just think of the reader who stopped by this week simply to say, “Thanks.” It’s very humbling to realize that what you do is important to so many people.
So while I cringe upon learning that yet another big newspaper is scrambling, I rejoice in knowing that the community newspaper – and the community I serve – is alive and well.
And thank you for your support.