I don’t know about you, but “reinvent my entire life” was not on my March to-do list. But here we are, so it’s only prudent to react to the circumstances as best we can.
We got some clarity on those circumstances this week and reacted. You will notice some of these reactions as a reader of The Columbian, either in print, online or both.
First of all, we think many of these measures will be temporary. It’s way too early to tell when the economy will rebound, but it will.
But in the meantime, I am going to start with the bad news. Frankly, we have lost most of our advertising support. We are not in this alone. Millions of dollars are suddenly gone as advertisers close or face uncertainty. In Portland, the Portland Mercury and The Portland Observer have moved to online-only publication. Pamplin Media, which owns 24 weekly newspapers including the Portland Tribune, announced it was cutting employees’ pay and considering merging some of its titles. Many newspapers in Washington are cutting back.
We are responding by reducing the number of pages we print. We already discontinued our Weekend section and are going to shrink the page count of our paper beginning Sunday. Sundays will now be four sections of six pages; Tuesdays through Saturdays will be two sections of 10 pages. With almost no advertising, these smaller papers should still offer plenty of space for news.