Life in the Valley of Riches

On Friday, Sept. 16, late in the afternoon, I received an email from our newspaper print staff at the Medford Mail Tribune, stating they were going to go all digital and shut down their press operations at the month’s end.
They gave me two weeks’ notice to find a new printer, which seems quite the daunting task and I spent the weekend with my mind doing backflips trying to come up with suitable alternatives.
As I write this, I have spoken to a few options, but have not seen any prices or press slots yet.
What blows my mind is that while I knew the owner Mr. Steven Saslow was not a true paper man and figured he planned on moving to an all-digital format at some point, I had no idea it would be so soon.
The money from public notices for the city of Medford and Jackson County alone is likely more than my annual operational budget. I won’t even try to assess the loss from sales flyers being inserted into his paper.
I cannot take away from Mr. Saslow’s prior success in life, but I fail to understand why anyone would buy something just to destroy it, because that is what he is doing. For example, do any of you remember the Seattle Post-Intelligencer? I barely do. When the PI went all web, it was bleeding money and the owners thought it would be a great idea to go web, if the paper didn’t sell during the 60 days it was on the market. When they did this back in 2009, they still had over 100,000 subscribers.
My largest concern is for all the public notices from the many Jackson County cities and taxing districts, as they will not have a daily newspaper to publish in. The Rogue River Press and the Upper Rogue Independent will be the only print newspapers and they are both weekly newspapers.
Hang in there with us as we try to sort out our current dilemma. I am sure we will find a suitable place to print, as the Illinois Valley News is committed to print news.
Thank you for picking up this week’s paper. Enjoy! djm