In recent weeks, it has become clear that we are living through a momentous time in history. Around the world, people’s health, livelihoods and lifestyles have been upended by the coronavirus outbreak and its ripple effects on health care systems, economies and societal norms.
Locally, we have all been touched in some way by the pandemic and the ongoing efforts to stem its spread: As expected, confirmed cases of the virus have begun to emerge, schools have closed their doors and many businesses have – understandably so – been ordered by Gov. Andy Beshear to dramatically limit operations or, in some instances, go altogether dark. This, of course, will result in the lamentable circumstance of putting hundreds, if not thousands, out of work in southcentral Kentucky before we turn the corner toward recovery.
As it has for more than 160 years, the Bowling Green Daily News has worked vigorously to provide the community with vital, up-to-the-minute information about this rapidly changing crisis and to tell the stories of those who have been most deeply affected. In times such as these, a free and vibrant press is at its most crucial, and we are as committed as ever to fulfilling that role.
It is hardly a secret, though, that the business of printed news was financially challenging even before the outbreak. But now, as the sharp virus-related economic downturn manifests at ground level, the Daily News must announce difficult decisions that will better position us to continue serving this community in the years ahead.
Most prominently, after March 28, we will no longer publish a Saturday print edition. The reduction of print days is common in the modern newspaper industry, but it is a change our organization resisted for years. Unfortunately, we are no longer able to do that. To be clear, we will continue to publish at bgdailynews.com the same news, sports, obituaries and other content that would have appeared in our Saturday print issues, and our Sunday-through-Friday print editions will be published as usual.
Meanwhile, our print readers will begin to notice other changes as well. We recently shrank our sports sections after virtually all athletic activity was shut down locally and nationally. Similar steps will be taken with other regular sections such as Time Out, Business and Faith, as well as our Opinion page, which will be published only on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. While we are loathe to decrease the amount of content in our print issues, it is an unavoidable byproduct of our need to construct editions more concisely in order to maximize our resources during this slowdown in southcentral Kentucky’s business activity.
As always, it is important to remember that we offer more than the physical newspaper. Our team also produces news and advertising content – sometimes around the clock – for our digital products at bgdailynews.com. Full access to our website is currently free to all readers during the coronavirus pandemic in an effort to provide the community with vital information and reporting. The Daily News is also launching a new news initiative in WDNZ-TV11, a low-power television station that features local news, sports and “The Morning Show” with WKCT’s Chad Young and Al Arbogast. The station may be found over the air and on the Glasgow Electric Plant Board’s cable lineup. News Publishing and News Broadcasting, co-owners of the station, are working to expand our television reach to other cable systems and on a streaming app. We feature Stadium TV, Antenna TV, Estrella, Biz TV and The Country Network as subchannels to WDNZ-TV11.
Across all of our platforms, we are southcentral Kentucky’s most trusted news source, and none of what we are announcing today should be perceived as a wavering in our determination to remain just that for many years to come.
Of course, we understand that we are just one of many businesses locally and nationally that are making hard choices during this unsettling and confusing time. Our thoughts and prayers are with those most closely affected by the outbreak – particularly those who fall ill and their families, as well as those who lose jobs either temporarily or permanently.
It is our sincere hope that brighter days are near, and we look forward to bringing you the stories of our families, friends and neighbors as southcentral Kentucky gets back onto its feet.