Sale of newspapers provides a much-needed dose of optimism

Published 8:32 am Wednesday, July 22, 2009

By Staff
Thank goodness for silver linings.
That’s what we’re concluding after Monday’s announcement that three small North Carolina daily newspapers and 10 non-dailies have been sold to an enthusiastic, optimistic buyer.
Cox Enterprises announced Monday it has reached an agreement to sell The Daily Reflector of Greenville, the Rocky Mount Telegram and the Daily Advance of Elizabeth City to Cooke Communications.
The three daily papers and their non-daily counterparts have been for sale since 2008 when the fortunes of the newspaper business began to plummet in earnest. Employees at the publications have understandably been on pins and needles throughout the sale process.
The Daily Reflector — as with the Daily News — recently faced its own round of layoffs, and similar fates at newspapers around the country have not made the wait-and-see game any easier.
Though the local newspapers are not out of the woods, yet, it’s heartening that a well-funded organization is willing to stake its reputation and money on them.
As with most small publications, dedicated employees of the Reflector, Telegram and Daily Advance are accustomed to running around like chickens without heads to get their respective papers out the door every day.
It takes a heck of a lot of work to produce daily papers with staffs that are frequently stretched thin even in good times.
So, bravo to Cooke Communications, and congratulations to the staffs of the 13 papers that now embark on another journey.
Hang in there, and enjoy the ride everyone.