An uncertain future for this newspaper
Last updated 11/15/2022 at 3:35pm | View PDF
The phrase “no news is good news” may be true in many situations, but right now “no news” to the staff of the Fountain Valley News means extreme sadness. This is because the news, as we know it, is not likely to continue after this year.
This newspaper, like so many other print media across America, has struggled to survive financially through the changing seasons of economic downturns, the internet – even COVID-19 – and the time has come to admit that we no longer can keep going. As things stand now, our last print issue is set for Dec. 28.
We just started our 65th year in October. The paper has been published every Wednesday since 1958.
To write these words is extremely difficult for us, and it’s absolutely the last thing we wanted to do. However, it’s a harsh reality that has been sneaking up on us for some time. Please know that we have tried to find creative solutions to these problems, but none of the answers we’ve found are more than a temporary band-aid.
The costs of business continue to increase, including the printing and delivery of our papers every week. Meanwhile, fewer businesses are advertising in the newspaper, meaning lower income. These factors have been adding up for a number of years, and we continued to do our best to work with a minimal staff to provide the best coverage of local news as possible.
When COVID-19 hit, our biggest source of income – legal notices – decreased dramatically and stayed minimal for a long time. When those began to increase again earlier this year, we were hopeful that it would be enough to keep us going. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. We have been dipping into savings just to keep our doors open, and there’s no more support for us to do so anymore.
The truth is, most people today rely on the internet for their news. “Fake news” is very real, but so is the fact that many people assume they can find the answer to anything just by doing a Google search or asking a question on a social media forum. We are part of those same forums and can tell you that much of the information shared there is incorrect. When possible, we reply with the correct answer, but that’s not enough to sway the masses to start subscribing to, or advertising in, their local newspaper. They simply don’t care enough.
We know that many of our readers have been with us for decades, and we truly appreciate your support over the years. Some of you have joined us more recently, and we are so sorry that we can’t continue to provide you with truly local news, event announcements, and weekly coverage of the Fountain Valley community to an extent that no one else does.
Many of our carriers come from families where delivering the paper was passed down through multiple generations, and we are sad that they will no longer be able to interact with our customers as well. Being a Fountain Valley News carrier was a first job for many young people in our community.
Unfortunately, we are not alone, as multiple small newspapers across the country close every week. Here in our own backyard, The Mountaineer at Fort Carson announced on Nov. 11 that it had printed its final issue after 80 years. According to a Fort Carson statement, The Mountaineer never missed its weekly publication, through all wars since World War II, two blizzards that closed Fort Carson for several days in 1997 and 1998 and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Colorado Springs Indy has recently moved to a nonprofit model and is making significant changes, likely to stay in business as long as possible. Similar stories of shutdowns, mergers and closures have become more and more frequent here in Colorado and pretty much everywhere. It’s just today’s world.
Please know that we continue to explore possibilities that would allow Fountain Valley News to go on in some form, but at this time we have not had any promising leads. We will do our best to exhaust all options. It would be a shame for our Facebook page to disappear, as it provides breaking news to a wide audience as well as extensive photo coverage of community events that you wouldn’t find in big media. We recently surpassed 10,000 followers on Facebook. However, social media won’t pay our bills, so we are considering ways to continue this service perhaps by partnering with other organizations. If you have ideas, please let us know.
Again, our last issue is set for Dec. 28. Another update will be provided in a few weeks.
We thank you, dear readers, for your support. If you have any questions, you may email us at [email protected] or call (719) 382-5611. Our office is open for business as usual, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday. You are always welcome to stop by.
The Fountain Valley News management team:
Karen Johnson, General Manager,
Patricia St. Louis, Assistant Manager
Karin Hill, Executive Editor