In late December 2019 when I looked forward to the year ahead I was struck by the unique naming of the year “2020.” Previously, I had always associated that term with a clear vision. Little did I know that it might come to mean the need to gain “clarity” in determining what truly matters — things we had always taken for granted — like public health.
Like many people throughout this State and indeed, around the world, these past six months have been some of the most challenging in my life to date.
We started off the new year hopeful. A few months earlier, we had expanded to a weekly for the first time in the newspaper’s history. And in the 3 years, I had owned the newspaper our circulation had grown by around 500% and our digital numbers had increased dramatically with certain stories pulling close to 2,000 views as soon as they were posted. We increased our distribution to 400 locations and in some spots, the pick-up rate was 100%! Even with five times the operating costs, we were holding our own. March promised to be our best month EVER in our level of advertising support. And then in mid-March the business shutdown occurred and just like that — our ad revenue nearly atomized!
At this time, understandably, in the face of little or no advertising revenue, several publications closed down. But at North Forty News we believed that in the midst of a pandemic, the people in Northern Colorado needed local coverage and government agency information more than ever and so we were determined to hold on. Some of our long term advertisers were right there with us! And to our delight, our readership grew, our number of subscribers increased and our advertisers began to return as their businesses began to reopen.
In these unique circumstances, we witnessed and reported on the new and creative ways local governments, organizations, and individuals were reaching out to their neighbors and to their communities to offer surprising new forms of assistance in a regular feature called “Making a Difference.” And instead of contracting or scaling down, we envisioned a new campaign we called: “Let’s Do More!”
Through all the challenges that we, and so many of you, have been navigating we want both our readers and our advertisers to know that we are making it — but not without you!
For both our readers and advertisers, we intend to continue to work hard to improve our coverage and extend our reach throughout Northern Colorado.
And we thank you for your encouragement and for your support!
LOCAL NEWS — CRITICAL AT A TIME LIKE THIS!
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