Our industry is facing financial pressure, and the Juneau Empire is not immune. Despite that, our goal remains the same: Create local, relevant news products using a business model that ensures long-term sustainability.
As part of that goal, we recently made the decision to reduce the size of our newsroom by two. The reduction included the positions of staff photographer and sports reporter. For 24 years, the photographer position had been filled by Michael Penn. Michael’s work is well-known to the community. He is well-loved, and we here at the Empire already miss him. For the past two years, Nolin Ainsworth provided a strong voice for the local sports scene, and his work also brought to light many fascinating aspects of Juneau’s outdoors community. His contribution will be missed. The unfortunate reality, however, is that newspapers of our size can no longer support these dedicated positions.
So where do we go from here? This year, we are focused on shoring up what we hope is a sustainable business model. We’re hiring an advertising director who will help us better compete in this emerging digital era. By the fall of this year, we plan on rolling out a customizable app that will make our content more accessible than ever. And, of course, we will continue to produce the award-winning local journalism that Juneau deserves.
But the financial pressures we face are going to continue without your support. So please, if you browse our website, follow us on Facebook or Instagram, or read your three free articles each month, consider subscribing. Our rates start at $9.95 a month, and those dollars are invested right back into our mission of local journalism.
If you own a business, let us help you succeed. Our products reach 52% of Juneauites nearly every single day. That’s right: More than half of the people in Juneau use our products on a daily basis. Let’s work together to find the right advertising solution for you. We’ll help you get the audience your business needs to grow, and Juneau will continue to enjoy strong local journalism. It’s a win-win.
Staff reductions are never easy, but we’re excited about what the future looks like, and we sincerely hope it includes some level of support from you.
• Robert Monteith is the Juneau Empire’s General Manager.