God Save the Current!

As reported last week, the Current Newspapers, including our own Georgetown Current, filed for bankruptcy protection last week. In an age where local publications are being demolished by Facebook and Google sucking up all the ad revenue, it was grim news to see the Current in such financial straits.

But the newspaper published an issue this week (after a holiday break). And they issued a message to the public describing the paper’s future:

Dear Readers and Friends of the Current Newspapers,

As we begin the New Year, we wanted to let you all know, in the interest of stabilizing the company, The Current’s Board of Directors has decided to file for Chapter 11 reorganization. This reorganization will allow us to continue to do business as we have for the past 50 years while we restructure the financial foundation of the company.

In addition, a new Current Newspaper Company will be established under new management that will operate as before, but with a new operating plan that will maintain our local news focus, while expanding our print and digital coverage of local events, sports and the Northwest lifestyle.

We bring this to your attention in order to set the record straight about our situation and because we greatly value our relationship with you as readers and clients of the Current Newspapers. We are committed to maintaining your trust, and, hopefully, your business as we restructure and improve our internal systems, circulation and our print and online products.

In summary, we can assure you that we will continue to publish the finest local community newspapers in the D.C. Metro area, and we will continue to deliver to our advertisers the affluent, involved and responsive readership we always have.

Sincerely,

Management of the Current Newspapers

That is an encouragingly positive statement. Of course, it must be read with some caution as the future is still quite uncertain. In an article about the bankruptcy filing, the Washingtonian described what the future might hold for the paper:

David Ferrara, Current Newspapers’ chief operating officer, told Washingtonian this week the company is in a transition, one that may include the company’s first sustained attempts at reader revenue, such as paid home delivery or a paywall on its young website. Ferrara says the longterm plan also includes him eventually taking majority ownership of the company.

For now it appears that the beloved paper will live to see another day. God save the Current!

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