Change is inevitable. Change is going to happen regardless of how we feel about it. That’s life. And in the business world, change is an everyday occurrence. Nothing stays the same for too long due to the volatile and non-static environment of the marketplace.
As such, any business has the right to change its direction at any time based upon its own perception and analysis of that market. However, many times, sudden and repeated change can cause loyal customers to question what is going on. Let’s face it, there are going to be unhappy people when any type of change is being made.
Early last week, Gannett Company, Inc. announced yet another regional market change in that its newspapers in Alexandria, Opelousas and Hattiesburg, Miss. would be cutting their publication schedules. The Hattiesburg American’s and The Alexandria Town Talk’s seven-day-per-week publication schedule, and Opelousas’ The Daily World six-day-per-week printing will all move to a three-day-per-week publication schedule. All three will now publish on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Gannet Company also owns the Shreveport Times which has also seen recent staff changes.
All of the publications mentioned above cite a digital audience that is five- to eight-times larger than their printed publication audience. Again, a business most definitely has the right to make any changes that it deems necessary in order to remain financially lucrative.
However, each time a change happens with any type of printed publication, I receive many questions and inquiries from family, friends, and readers in regard to the perpetual state of change in the newspaper industry. I usually get asked several times a week about the future of our industry specifically as it relates to the Bossier Press-Tribune.
I love being asked about this. This is our story.
The BPT is a community newspaper. Though we have an established digital and social media presence, we also believe in and are committed to growing our print audience. We are your newspaper for Bossier Parish. This means that we bring you news, events, sports, etc. from all levels deep within our community….your community.
As such, we have a market niche in our concentration on community news. Without a doubt, community news is something the public still wants to read in a newspaper. This has most certainly been our experience, and furthermore, all newspaper industry research backs up this statement.
Therefore, we have not been impacted by many of the same changes that have occurred with the large metro daily newspapers who have struggled in the face of ever increasing competition from the 24/7 news cycle. No doubt, this struggle was brought about by the existence of numerous cable news networks and technology. I call it the instantaneous exchange of information.
Essentially, the Bossier Press-Tribune brings you the community news, events, sports, etc. that in so many cases, you would not see anywhere else. Again, our focus is community news with a hyper local concentration on Bossier Parish.
Several newspapers around the country over the last decade or so have made an attempt to switch their focus to more of a community news format because that is where the sustainable and real growth in the newspaper industry is taking place. The Bossier Press-Tribune did not have to make this switch because we have been focused on the community news and events taking place in Bossier Parish for almost 160 years.
Please be assured, the BPT is as committed as ever to serving the cities, towns and communities that comprise Bossier Parish. We are your Bossier Parish news source.
Additionally, as some of you already know, we have recently moved our offices to the eastern side of Bossier City in order to strengthen our ability to better serve our community. We are excited about our new offices and I would like to invite you to come visit us in our new digs when you have an opportunity.
We have many exciting opportunities on the horizon as we continue to serve our readers and the communities of Bossier Parish. We sincerely and tremendously appreciate your support. We are proud to play an integral and centralized role in serving Bossier Parish.
With your continued support of our efforts, the BPT will remain strong and viable. And rest assured, our ability to serve this parish is one change that the newspaper industry will not affect as we continue to grow with a thriving parish in the years ahead.
Randy Brown is Publisher of the BPT. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org