Becoming a stronger community paper

Published 7:34 pm Thursday, November 2, 2017

Change inevitably brings with it some bumps, bruises and questions. A certain amount of backlash often accompanies anything new, whether the change is intrinsically positive or negative. It often takes time for people to become familiar with anything new, that is simply human nature. Familiarity breeds comfort, and change represents, to some extent, the removal of that comfort. It is natural for the adjustment process to anything new to take some time.

Some changes have taken place within the last week in the LaGrange Daily News. We are no longer printing the TV guide, Hints from Heloise, Dear Annie, Horoscopes, the Word Sleuth or Hocus Focus. All of the content that has appeared on Page 3 of the newspaper for some time has now been replaced. I understand this has raised some questions and frustrations for a number of people, which I would like to address here.

First and foremost, I want to say thank you to everyone who has called, emailed or left messages on our social media platforms. Your voices and opinions are appreciated, and we do not take anything that is said lightly.

We read and ingest all that is sent to us, and respond to what we can in a timely manner. We always appreciate feedback from the community on our decisions, that has not changed and will not change.

The main question that has been raised by our subscribers is simple. Why remove these features? The reasoning behind this is two-fold. One, the newspaper has an obligation to operate at a profit level that allows us to fairly compensate our employees, reinvest in our organization and stand independent from outside influences. This is a part of our mission statement that is printed every day on our editorial page. In an effort to help us achieve this goal, business decisions must be made that are for the greater good of the newspaper.

Each month, like in any business, we must look at our expenses, and make decisions where we can save money, reinvesting our dollars in more effective and intelligent locations. These features that have been removed, simply put, cost money that can be better spent elsewhere to improve our product.

The second reason why this has been done is to create a space for more local content to be placed on a daily basis. This has been our stated objective since April. Our goal is to increase our local content, adding as much local information as possible to the newspaper on a daily basis. The new layout now gives us the opportunity to do just this. The calendar can now hold more information on what is happening around the community, allowing people to see events a week or more in advance. Currently, we have AP briefs on this page along with a Today in History area. As time passes, we will look at ways to add more local faces and places into these areas as well.

I fully understand that our subscribers subscribe to our newspaper for a wide variety of reasons, all of which are valid. I also understand that, for some of you, the reason you subscribe to the newspaper has been for the TV guide, the Horoscope or Dear Annie. I do not mean to mitigate these as non-important, but merely to express that this was a business decision in line with our mission statement.

In our ongoing effort to create a newspaper the community can be proud of, changes are inevitable. We are not going to make every decision correctly, but we do rest easy knowing all decisions we make, whether good or bad, are made with the sole objective of creating a product the community will enjoy and take pride in.

Thank all of you for your continued support. Please, direct questions, comments and frustrations to me, regarding this change and any others. I will be happy to speak with you more.