There’s no two ways about it: Feb. 20’s layoffs at The Press of Atlantic City and Catamaran Media dealt a blow to our newsroom.
Eleven people were laid off and six unfilled positions were eliminated at the Press and Catamaran, which publishes the weekly Currents and Gazettes that serve communities in Atlantic and Cape May counties.
It was a response to the harsh realities reshaping our industry, said BH Media Group President and Chief Executive Officer Terry J. Kroeger in a memo to BH employees. Company-wide, our cuts were part of 249 jobs and vacant positions eliminated in the face of falling advertising revenue, rising costs, and a readership that continues to shift toward digital content.
It was a difficult day for our newsroom and in our BH Media properties across the country as we said goodbye to many talented employees.
But we are not giving up on our mission.
In the face of these frightening changes, we’ve been focused on becoming a more efficient business, raising our revenue through innovative projects such as Big Surf Media, a digital advertising agency started last summer, and other initiatives.
We’ve also been making changes in our newsroom to become a more digitally focused operation. And we continue to develop strategies to tell the stories of our communities and you, our readers.
And we need your help.
In the Currents and Gazettes, we will continue reporting on the community news that’s important to you. The value of our 12 weeklies has always been informing readers of what’s happening at their schools, with their neighbors and on the sports field. All the features that you’ve come to appreciate — the community events, the historical photographs and stories, and the coverage of high school and youth sports — will still be there, in some cases expanded.
We’ve reached out to local schools, historical societies, community groups and nonprofits for news about the events they’re holding. We’re expanding our community listings calendar so that you’ll have more information.
If we haven’t contacted you yet, you can still contribute. Send your community news updates and photographs from local events to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s another, more essential way you can support us. Buy the newspaper, or sign up for a digital subscription.
To sign up for a digital subscription, call our customer service line (609) 272-1010 and choose option 1. You can also sign up for digital via our website at http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/app/subscriber_services/index.html. We have multiple options, including an introductory offer of three months of digital for just $3.95 per month (after 3 months, the rate is $6.95 standard).
The journalists in our newsroom go to work each day believing that what we do has value. Informing the public of important events and telling good stories is something they’re committed to, despite the daily obstacles that arise — from reluctant sources to layoffs.
W.F. “Buzz” Keough is managing editor of The Press of Atlantic City.