In a full page letter to the public in Sunday’s paper, The Virginian-Pilot’s president and publisher, Maurice Jones, laid out what is coming for the paper – and it ain’t pretty:
As we look ahead at the next 12-18 months, it is our belief that the economy will remain our most formidable rival.
What are we going to do about this? We must continue to take what the defense gives us: reduced income opportunities mean we must continue to reduce our costs. More tough decisions are necessary.
The newspaper will continue to shrink in size and more people will be laid off.
This does not bode well for the only newspaper on the Southside of Hampton Roads.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the Pilot needs to provide in-depth coverage of local news and issues that readers cannot get elsewhere. Make it the go-to source for that. None of the other media outlets can compete.
Having been an unpaid contributor to the opinion pages of the paper for over a year now, I can tell you from the emails I get that the people who read the paper are starved for that kind of information. The key is to increase the reader base, and thereby justify to advertisers the spending of their dollars, which I know isn’t an easy task.
As a community, we cannot afford to lose the one thing that has the ability to be the tie that binds us together. I hope this is the last of the cuts the newspaper has to suffer.