Bill Derby, owner and publisher of the Johnson City News & Neighbor, announced today’s Aug. 30, 2023, edition will be the last as a printed weekly newspaper.
“This was an incredibly difficult decision for our family, but one that had to be made,” Derby said. “Not only does it affect our employees, but our long-time readers and valued customers. The good news is that we will continue to publish the national award-winning monthly Business Journal of Tri-Cities TN/VA as well as continue an online presence through the News & Neighbor website, our social media accounts and a weekly newsletter available free of charge via email.
“Today’s challenging business environment, and decline in the retail insert flyer advertising accounts and increasing costs in our industry made it impossible to continue printing and delivering 30,000 homes each week,” Derby continued. “The COVID pandemic hastened our closing and the huge decline of newspapers.
“This edition will be our 1,266th publication. It has been a good run. I would like to convey our gratitude to our advertisers, some who have been in each edition, and to our valued readers. We have also been blessed with the best journalists, award-winning graphic designers and expert marketing professionals in the region and thank them for their dedicated service,” Derby said.
“We are not finished with our company. We will continue to offer the best local and positive news through our News & Neighbor website each day that thousands of our readers can access at their convenience to keep up with the good news of our communities. And it will be FREE just like the printed edition,” Derby concluded.
It’s unbelievable what has happened to our industry. Since COVID began in early 2019 through 2022, over 360 newspapers have closed. Twenty-four were daily papers and the rest were weekly papers.
In 2023 a large number of daily newspapers have cut publishing days and many huge century-old papers have closed. Large Alabama newspapers have stopped publishing, including The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times and Mobile newspaper. The Santa Barbara, CA News Press – a 150-year-old paper and one of southern California’s largest – stopped publishing this July. Eight North Dakota papers announced they were closing last week.
So, we are not alone in this aberration and transformation in our country but will still be vital for our readers to keep up with our good local news. Please send us your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to receive our weekly newsletter – and remember to this site.
Thank you advertisers and readers. We appreciate you.