From the Publisher

Last week, when Gannett – owner of the Press Journal – reported a second quarter loss of $54 million and warned of coming “painful reductions” to its already decimated news staff, it in part blamed what the Poynter Institute called its “disastrous financial results” on the soaring cost of paper.

That’s a problem we can identify with.

While Gannett said the cost of the newsprint it purchases had gone up an amazing 31 percent in the past year, the cost of the heavier, brighter paper we buy also has soared – with our printer reporting price increases seven times just since January!

That’s particularly painful news for us and our readers. While Gannett is dealing with the paper problem by trying to phase out print newspapers and push its remaining readers to the internet, our strong belief is that readers of Vero Beach 32963 and Vero News still want to get their community news in print form.

Ironically, a couple of years ago, we had thought that as print newspapers like the Press Journal withered and ultimately disappeared, there might be a paper glut.

Maybe, we hoped, the price of paper, which after personnel is our largest single expense, would go down.

Well, daily newspapers have indeed been closing. But instead of a glut, there’s a paper shortage. How could that occur? We have joined the ranks of merchants who blame their troubles on Amazon.

As newspaper companies cut back on purchases of newsprint these last few years, one paper mill after another gave up and switched over to producing pulp and containerboard – the liner and brown paper used to make gazillions of those cardboard delivery boxes.

There were times this past winter when we had trouble finding enough of the heavy bright white paper we use for Vero Beach 32963 at any price.

At present, our paper supply, while expensive, appears secure. And lest there be any doubt, despite rising costs, we are committed to bringing our readers their print newspaper for years to come.

In the weeks ahead, though, we will be breaking news of a 2023 rate increase to advertisers.

So let us take this opportunity to urge readers who value a print paper to get a head start on holiday shopping with our local merchants, and symbolically help reduce proliferation of those darn cardboard boxes.

– Milton R. Benjamin, Publisher

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