For those who get a print or e-edition copy of the Northwest Alabamian, it will look very different today. Just like so many other aspects of our lives that have been changed due to coronavirus 2019 or COVID-19, newspapers everywhere are having to also make changes.
The Northwest Alabamian is published and printed under the corporate umbrella of Midsouth Newspapers, Inc. Midsouth prints much more than newspapers, with grocery store circulars being a key portion of Midsouth’s printing business. As many of you have witnessed firsthand, grocery stores throughout the area are experiencing supply shortages. Due to these shortages, many of the grocery stories and supermarkets have temporarily discontinued their print advertising. Pre-print advertisement - which is delivered to the Alabamian to be inserted within the paper - has also been cancelled. All of these cancellations cuts Midsouth’s revenue drastically.
Due to these cuts and the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the Alabamian had a major layoff of employees on Friday, March 20.
“This is something we have never had to do in my 55-year tenure here,” publisher Horace Moore said. “We are doing everything we can to help all of our employees who have been affected by this layoff.”
With all of these changes, the Alabamian will be scaling back the number of pages we print until further notice. In another cost-saving measure, we will also be utilizing only black ink, except for advertisers who pay to have their ads run in color.
With the lower number of pages, we will, unfortunately, have to scale back on some of the items we love bringing to you, such as the editorial page and our back in time segment. We believe - at this time - that it is imperative that we use the pages we are able to print to bring you - first and foremost - to bring you the information you need to know regarding COVID-19 and how it is affecting us locally. We will also be significantly cutting back on our usage of pictures in order to have more space to provide this information to you. We will put all other stories and regular items in the newspaper as space allows.
To protect ourselves as much as possible, we will not be going out into the community conducting interviews or taking pictures, except when requested to do so. Anyone who has a news item they would like to have included in the Alabamian is welcome to call us at 205-486-9461 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The Alabamian office is still open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., but the front door is locked to protect our employees. You are still welcome to bring articles or news items by our office. Just call the number posted on our front door, 205-486-9461, and one of our staff members will come out to assist you.
To everyone in the business community, we understand wholeheartedly how the pandemic is also affecting your business. We are here to help you get the word out to area residents about any changes with how you are having to conduct your business, due to COVID-19. Advertising is available by calling us at (205) 486-9461 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Visit us here at mynwapaper.com frequently to find out what is going on locally not only with COVID-19, but other area news. We update this site frequently throughout the day and plan to continue to do so, letting you know how local leaders are responding to the pandemic and other local news you will not find anywhere else. We encourage you to bookmark the page so it will be easier for you to find.
As the pandemic changes, and orders from federal, state and local authorities change regarding the pandemic, the Alabamian may have to make other changes, as well. We pray for everyone who is being affected by the pandemic, especially those who have the virus and their loved ones. We pray for all of those whose lives have been upended due to the changes we as a society are facing to combat this virus. We also offer a special prayer for the many people on the front lines of the battle against this virus - all of our healthcare workers, all of our first responders - law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics both in ambulances and in helicopters, 9-1-1 dispatchers and tow truck drivers - and our elected leaders.
“Thank your retailers and other business people,” Alabamian General Manager Mike Moore said. “Keep this in mind when you go to your local grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, gas stations, lumber and hardware stores, florists, mechanics, parts stores, repair stores, funeral homes...the list goes on and on. Some of these people are working and selling more than they can keep on their shelves. Others might have the least amount of business they have ever had. Everyone has been affected by COVID-19, aka the Chinese virus in some way.”
“Put your trust in GOD and thank the businesses that are providing the things we need for our daily lives,” Mike added.
It is our hope that amidst the tragedy and challenges we are facing that we will come together as a nation, state and county, love and take care of our families and neighbors and emerge on the other side of this pandemic stronger and more unified than we have ever been.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.