FROM THE PUBLISHER; Newspaper Faces Its Challenges

The Florida Times Union, February 15, 2009 | Go to article overview

FROM THE PUBLISHER; Newspaper Faces Its Challenges


Dear Reader,

Over the past few weeks, you may have seen reports in this newspaper about a financial restructuring of Morris Publishing Group LLC, our parent company. These reports have raised questions -- from readers, advertisers and even members of our own organization -- about what this means to The Florida Times-Union. Let me provide some answers.

It is certainly no secret that our country is experiencing one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression.

More than a half-million people lost their jobs this past month alone, and unemployment nationwide has jumped to 7.6 percent.

Nearly every kind of business -- large and small, national and neighborhood -- is suffering. Many of the businesses that have not shut down are fighting to stay alive.

Our business, too, is facing unprecedented challenges. The newspaper industry is being hit by two big storms:

One is the continuing impact of the Internet on news and information dissemination.

The other is the effect of the devastating economic decline on our advertiser business partners and their ability to pay to advertise their goods and services, both in the newspaper and on our Web site.

Like many households and businesses, we are working with our lenders to bring our debt load and debt service more in line with the economic realities of today.

OK, so what does this mean to you -- our readers, advertiser partners and employees?

Let's take on the toughest questions.

Q. IS THE FLORIDA TIMES-UNION GOING OUT OF BUSINESS?

A. No. Our commitment to the Times-Union, its Web site, jacksonville.com, and their role in the community has never been stronger. We are proud of what we have contributed to this community over the past 144 years and remain dedicated to offering the same news, entertainment and service in the future. We intend to continue to provide the best services to our business partners, from the smallest local shops to the largest global firms. In fact, the leadership and staff of this organization -- ever committed to innovation -- is engineering an array of new services that will help readers and businesses more powerfully meet their daily needs. We are humbled by, and grateful for, every opportunity to help, touch and share in the lives of First Coast citizens.

Q. I'VE READ YOU HIRED FINANCIAL ADVISERS. …

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FROM THE PUBLISHER; Newspaper Faces Its Challenges
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