The path forward: Publisher’s letter from Geddy Sveikauskas

Due to the widespread economic lockdown associated with the frightening outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, Ulster Publishing has had to suspend print publication of our newspapers starting this week. We will have to improvise. All our content, including all pages from each of our weeklies, will be available to all subscribers on our HV1 website. The website will continue to be updated for breaking news, of course.

This will be the first week in Ulster Publishing’s 47-year history that we have not published a print newspaper. It won’t be the last. Change will continue even after the pandemic recedes. Our objective remains to publish the best journalism we can in whatever format serves our communities best.

COVID-19 upped the ante. A world of local meetings was suddenly replaced with a world where face-to-face contacts were first discouraged and then banned. Events were canceled, places of unplanned meetings closed.

We were compelled to think more deeply. This world of plague-enforced separation was not what we wanted. We had not anticipated it. Our community-building ambitions remain intact. This too shall pass.

The consequences of this sudden economic shock have been catastrophic. In order to reorganize, we needed to take drastic action in the short term. The path to survival included laying off our entire staff – people I had worked with daily for decades, admired colleagues dedicated to our kind of journalism with whom I had worked on our enterprise for decades – and rehiring only those we could afford to. I promise them – and you – that we’ll be back, better than ever, producing more and better work than we ever have.

This week’s painful adjustments are part of our evolutionary process. Our goals are modest. We seek both to explore the heart of the human condition and to tell you what’s going on in your town this coming weekend.

The need for what we do at our best has never been greater. Members of our diverse community are being amazingly supportive. We love you all.

We beg you please to stay with us on this necessary detour on our common journey.