Newspaper still focused on the future, our community


By Mike Goodman
Publisher/Executive Editor

Sunday, September 9, 2018

The rumors, which got thicker than molasses during a Minnesota winter, turned out to be true: The Daily Advance has been sold.

Adams Publishing Group and our former owners Cooke Communications completed the sale Aug. 31 after negotiators from the two companies arrived at an agreement to transfer ownership of this 117-year-old newspaper, the Chowan Herald, The Perquimans Weekly, and several other papers in the former Cooke North Carolina group, to the Minneapolis-based company.

Cooke had owned the newspapers since 2009, buying them from Cox Enterprises.

The changes in newspaper ownership nationwide, not unlike those in other businesses, has accelerated in the last 15-20 years, as the industry's traditional financial foundation — circulation and advertising revenue — has been roiled by digital and internet platforms crowding the field of options for information and markets.

Newspapers have responded with their own innovative digital and print options, but even with those competitive efforts, a wellspring of sources for connectivity with consumers has left newspapers with a thinner spread of revenue. Hence, life in the newspaper lane has become more challenging for publishers and owners everywhere to maintain the objective of delivering comprehensive news and advertising to an audience being pulled in many directions in our current digitally-focused environment.

Fortunately, that tougher new horizon hasn't cooled the enthusiasm among some traditional corporations and many new media groups from investing in newspapers.

That is certainly the case with Adams, the family-owned private corporation that just bought this newspaper. APG is relatively new to the newspaper business, but its leaders are not new to business; they see opportunities. And in fact, barely five years old, APG already oversees 30 daily newspapers, 100 non-dailies and a payroll of about 3,000 people.

Adams comes as a confident new investor in eastern North Carolina. They have good reason to be. As other successful community newspaper-owning entities, they are motivated by basic, proven principles that community newspapers are highly valued institutions among the citizens they serve. The journalistic mission of keeping people informed, as well as the proven advertising and marketing strategies provided for business, is the inherent, and still-relevant, value of newspapers.

This newspaper and others are still looking for new and better ways to demonstrate that value to the communities served. That will continue with Adams, an encourager and accommodater of innovation.

Newspapers have been around a long time — centuries — and have faced the challenges of emerging technology before, from the first wire transmissions to telephones, to radio and television — and now the digital revolution.

Given their support, subscribers, businesses and the communities we serve can take comfort in the future of their newspaper — even as changes in our form and format emerge. In fact, expect change. Websites, social media and a variety of other options to connect people and news are already at the forefront of news innovation: Adapting and change is part of our history, and it will continue.

What will not change is any recant from the mission of being a credible and reliable source of information, a marketplace for business and a constant vehicle for ideas that are changing not only this community but the world.

This newspaper, a new member of the Adams group, with support from readers and businesses, will continue to work hard to remain relevant and valuable to the citizens and the communities it serves.

Mike Goodman is publisher and executive editor of The Daily Advance.