As of Tuesday, we exceeded our goal of a combined 225 annual print and digital subscriptions by about 52. Also, others donated to the cause outright.
What is the cause? Saving the Douglas Dispatch and local journalism in our community.
But let me be clear that while this has helped, our work is not done. As you know, to keep this newspaper or any other business operational, the model must be sustainable.
In our case, that means having a healthy number of subscribers but also sufficient support from businesses in the form of advertising. We made some great gains in the former but have lost ground in the latter. The books are not yet closed for September, but Year to Date, the good news is that circulation revenue is up by about $1,600 over the same period last year. The bad news is that it has cost us $40,000 to operate the newspaper this year. We are hoping for a better October, through the end of the fourth quarter. Otherwise, in January we are looking at options, which include converting the Dispatch to a shopper, comprising ads and little editorial content.
We are thankful to those who subscribed and became members of the Dispatch “club” since we initiated the campaign July 17, and we urge those of you who haven’t gotten around to it, to join us now!
We are also looking to area businesses for increased support. This is not about a handout but rather a partnership. We offer the biggest print and online audience in Douglas, which means businesses have no better way to expose their products and services than by joining with us and taking advantage of our market and advertising expertise. We can target your local customers, of course, but through our digital tools we can market you anywhere in Cochise County or Arizona, for that matter. We can even distribute your message in Agua Prieta and Sonora. The Douglas Dispatch knows no borders. Put us to work for you!
Again, on behalf of the staff at the Dispatch and our parent company, Wick Communications, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation for the outpouring of support, be it through online subscriptions, letters, phone calls and those who visited our offices. It is truly heartwarming to work in a community where people value local journalism. Our efforts continue to bring you local news and information you cannot get anywhere else.
(Coppola is publisher of the Douglas Dispatch.)