Cutting expenses is not easy proposition

Published 10:09 pm Sunday, January 11, 2009

As creatures of habit, we all get used to doing things a certain way and the worst thing that can happen is someone changes things up.

Unfortunately, I was recently the one doing the changing and was then on the receiving end of the ire of those most affected.

While some readers likely haven’t noticed anything different, others are likely ready to get out the torches and storm the proverbial Tribune castle.

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A week ago I made the decision to stop publishing the TV listings in the newspaper daily and also on Sunday.

And though I expected it, boy, did I hear from a few — albeit very vocal — readers.

This change wasn’t something that I took lightly or decided to do rashly. This was something I had considered for awhile as part of a multi-tiered expense reduction plan.

The newspaper remains in strong financial shape and has a bright future, but that doesn’t mean we are immune to the effects of a struggling economy. We are feeling the squeeze like many other businesses.

The key is that we have tried to be pro-active for months, analyzing every aspect of how this company operates.

The bottom line is it is my job to make sure every dollar we spend makes the newspaper better and allows us to serve the community as best we possibly can.

After great consideration and lots of feedback from readers, I felt that only a small percentage of the Tribune customers used the TV listings, instead opting for the digital listings provided through their cable systems, more comprehensive guides found elsewhere or online listings that are free.

This certainly wasn’t the only change we have made but it may just be a little more noticeable.

We have taken steps to reduce the width of the paper, restructure staffing for maximum efficiency and increase circulation to give our advertisers more bang for the buck.

Cutting is never easy. It is never fun. Change is always a scary proposition that takes time to which to adjust.

But the goal is to make the newspaper as good as it can possibly be.

I feel that using all our resources towards gathering more local news that affects your lives is the best way to go.

The Tribune’s mission is to focus on what we do best — cover Lawrence County. We can always do better and that goal will never be cut.