We won’t sugarcoat it. This hurts.
The decision by our owner, Adams Publishing Group, to reduce the frequency of print editions from six days a week to three, ends a 115-year tradition of a daily printed newspaper in our community. And that stings.
But the reasons are sound and inarguable.
Times, as they say, have changed.
More and more people of all ages are turning to computers, iPads and smartphones to get their news, often from questionable, noncurated sources. By embracing the latest technologies, the Antigo Daily Journal firmly cements its well-earned reputation as the place to go for accurate, nonbiased news from our community, Langlade County, and a large swath of the northwoods. **(I’m not sure, is Northwoods capitalized as a proper, albeit weird noun?) That is a good thing.
At the same time, economies dictate that as we become integrated in those technologies, other things can and must be left behind, the biggest casualty being the expensive process of producing a six-day a week printed copy of the newspaper. That breaks our hearts.
All emotion aside, it’s important to remember that when the Antigo Daily Journal was established as a portal for news by brothers Fred and Henry Berner and their families, it was not a daily at all.
Fred and Henry purchased the well-established weekly Antigo Republican and not until four years later, on September 18, 1905, did they make the move to a daily, citing the growth and dynamic nature of the community.
Antigonians have had plenty of other choices over the years, including the Weekly News Item, New Country Republican, Antigo Pioneer and others. But as they consolidated and discontinued, the Antigo Daily Journal flourished, and at times, foundered through World Wars, the Great Depression and into the modern age of Internet and social media.
The newspaper’s success had little to do with its publication schedule. It was due to the nimble nature of its owners, the Berner family and their willingness to embrace new technologies and carefully leave the old behind.
As the community changed, livery stables were replaced by automotive dealerships, and coal and wood dealers by utilities and oil and gas businesses. In the Journal’s office, hot lead type gave way, thankfully, to offset printing. The duties of those grand old Rolliflex cameras were assumed by SLR and digital models and now, largely by the phones carried in our pockets. The Associated Press wire, clicking and clacking in the corner, was moved to satellite and the Internet. Our Remington and Underwood typewriters became Dell and HP computers.
The Journal has never remained stagnant.
Those who don’t know better will claim that the move to a three-day print schedule marks a failure for us, but those folks could not be more wrong. Failure would be doing nothing and ultimately disintegrating. Indeed, the clearest mark of our success is that we able to embrace those technologies and change with the times.
We are unfazed but will be careful going forward. We are concerned but excited about what the future holds. Most of all, we are determined to preserve what we all love the most: Presenting carefully curated news tailored to the needs of our family of readers.
Come along with us.