Friday, April 10, 2009

Taking the pulse

Several Freeman executives and I were on the phone today with people from our corporate office. It was a like many calls we've had over the years: "How's it going?" "How's the month look?" "What are some of the advertising and circulation initiatives are you working on?" That sort of thing.

During the course of the conversation, the parent company's Chapter 11 status came up. We told our higher-ups how often our employees hear about it on the streets of the Hudson Valley. Despite the fact that it's the parent corporation, not the Freeman, in bankruptcy court, many in the public believe we're in danger of closing.

The corporate team was stunned: "The Freeman isn't going away!"

No, it's not. And that's what we're telling anyone whose willing to listen.

The newspaper industry may have fallen on hard times. For sure, there's a sea change in the works, and publications large and small are trying to steer in the right direction. Larger newspapers like those in Seattle and Denver have closed. San Francisco's daily is said to be on the brink. So, too, amazingly, is the famed Boston Globe. Generally speaking, however, community newspapers like ours are managing to find their way, albeit for the time being (hopefully) suffering temporary revenue declines we believe are as much to blame on the sagging economy as anything else.

Nobody here is taking anything for granted, that's for sure. This is hardly the time to be complacent. And we don't intend to be. Meanwhile, sooner than later, we expect the corporation to emerge from Chapter 11. Regardless of the timing and outcome of that matter, as our executives stated again today: "The Freeman isn't going away!"
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