It is with regret that I comment on the death of four newspapers in our area.
The newspaper fraternity always was a group with whom I had deep regard and friendship, as we tried to fill the reason for our being. It has always been the role of the weekly newspaper to report on the activities of the communities they covered. When there was a loss of that objective we all lost. It appears that Village Soup publications did not fill the role that was expected of them.
In the announcement in their web site, Richard Anderson stated the following:
“Dear Bar Harbor Times, Capital Weekly, VillageSoup Gazette, VillageSoup Journal and the Scene subscribers, readers and users of our respective websites:
“It is with deep regret that I inform you that effective Friday, March 9, 2012, we will discontinue these publications. The company will cease operation beyond that which is necessary to complete the closure process.
“The profound changes in the newspaper publishing business, a weak economy and our investment in new products created severe financial challenges. Over the recent months, I have worked with outside professionals to achieve a financial restructuring that would allow us to continue. These efforts failed as of 3 p.m. today, March 9, 2012. We can no longer sustain our operations.
“I am deeply saddened by the disruption this brings to the lives of our 57 dedicated staff members.
“I am grateful for the loyal support and participation of current subscribers, members, users, advertisers, vendors and my staff. I am confident that others will step forward and replace the loss of professional journalism and community service previously provided by our publications.”
The profound changes that Mr. Anderson referred to had much to do with his own decision to change what has been a tried and true mission that we as a newspaper people have followed for more than a century. It is our role to provide a bulletin board to report on activities of those who live in our coverage area, and at the same time dedicate our editorial pages to the expression of ideas.
May those who fill the gaps from the demise of these newspapers, take a lesson from the past and not change the way they operate for change alone.
What has happened is that within four years several newspapers with roots going back over a century are now gone, and I cry about their death.
Samuel E. Roberts,
Publisher Emeritus of The Lincoln County News, Nobleboro