As many of you know by now, last Friday, February 28th, Madison Courier Publisher Curt Jacobs announced the sale of the newspaper to the Paxton Media Group, headquartered in Paducah, Kentucky.
The change in ownership was immediate.
Because of this sale, there are also uncontrollable changes here with the newspapers of the Vevay Media Group — the Vevay Reveille-Enterprise and The Switzerland Democrat.
As a part of the change of ownership and consolidation of services, The Madison Courier, beginning this week, is now being printed at Paxton’s press site in Owensboro, Kentucky. The press in Madison has been shut down and there are no plans to reopen it.
That closure impacts the Vevay papers, because that is the press that our newspapers have been printed on for decades. The shutting down of those presses has caused the local newspaper staff to do some quick thinking and adjusting on the fly — because the newspaper that you are currently reading and those in the future still needed to be produced.
Paxton offered to assist Vevay by printing our two weeklies in Owensboro as well, but ultimately the timeline and deadlines that would need to be met were not conducive to being able to continue to supply our community with timely news with timely delivery.
That said, the newspaper that you are reading was printed at the AIM Media printing facility located in Greenfield, Indiana, just outside of Indianapolis. AIM has had a relationship with the Vevay papers for several years, having printing our newspapers when the Madison press was unavailable, as well as printing special sections — such as the recent Soil and Water Conservation District’s annual report and the Swiss Wine Festival special section — on several occasions.
Unfortunately, the move to AIM also means a slight adjustment in our deadline schedule. As of this week, in order to stay within AIM’s production schedule, all pages for the Vevay newspapers need to be in Greenfield no later than 6 p.m. each Tuesday. There will be adjustments at times for breaking Tuesday news, such as election coverage — but most week’s we will close our news window in time on Tuesday morning to meet that deadline.
If you are a subscriber, you should see no change in your delivery through the post office; and if you purchase the paper from a vendor, the papers should be in those stores on Wednesday evenings, as normal.
The landscape of the print newspaper industry continues to change; and unfortunately many newspapers, especially locally-owned, family newspapers, have been forced to sell to outside interests in order to survive long term.
As the owner of your newspapers — I pledge to you that I will fight to my last breath to make sure that doesn’t happen.
If a local community wants a local newspaper (or radio station, for that matter) owned by local people, then the simple truth is this — we need your support.
Don’t have a yearly subscription? It’s $35 per year in Switzerland County and all counties that join Switzerland County — please consider purchasing one.
Have a local business? Please remember that we are a local business, too; and your advertising dollars, even small amounts, go a long way towards continuing to have a thriving source of local news.
The truth is, like all locally owned businesses in Vevay and Switzerland County, we can’t keep our doors open without you. In an age of online shopping and online information, the local business always struggles — but we are important to the life and the future of our community. We sponsor the events. We give to the school groups and charities. We understand that the health of our community contributes to our own health.
Friday’s announcement staggered us a bit, but it didn’t defeat us. We continue to work to provide you with local news, not rumor and conjecture.
I thank you for your support of this newspaper, and as we experience change, it is my hope that you will continue to see value in what we do — and you’ll help support that value.
Patrick Lanman, owner and Publisher
Vevay Media Group, Inc.