By Kathy Knotts, CBM Bay Weekly editor
It’s the end of an era. Today we sent out the last print version of CBM Bay Weekly. We are expanding our presence and shifting to a completely digital format.
Instead of driving to a grocery store or restaurant to find a rack full of Bay Weeklies, it will now come directly to your phone—or laptop or wherever you scroll for news and entertainment. You will still get the same great content, but now you don’t have to worry about how to recycle it when you’re done.
“We are committed to continuing to serve our community by providing timely coverage of the stories that impact all of us who live here,” says John Martino, the CEO of Chesapeake Bay Media, the parent company of CBM Bay Weekly. “Moving to digital will allow us to grow our readership more rapidly in a cost-effective and responsible way.”
Learning to evolve has been a career-long challenge for me. Yours truly had her first “real” newspaper job in 1999, following pro women golfers at the U.S. Women’s Open at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Mississippi. I knew nothing about golf and next-to-nothing about covering a sporting event. I learned on the job and from my colleagues. Even then, working at a small family-owned newspaper, I was coming into this industry as things were about to change. I had to type handwritten letters into a computer; I had a mini-cassette recorder for interviews, film in my camera and we were still using waxing machines and Exacto knives for layouts. Now I’m having to learn my way around social media, email services, SEOs and Google analytics.
We are certainly not alone in giving up the physical product. Hundreds of newspapers have shuttered around the globe—I only know a few journalists that still remain at a traditional print company. The pandemic made it even harder.
When Chesapeake Bay Media bought the paper in 2020, little did we know what was on the horizon. But Bay Weekly persisted. Even during the worst weeks, we still put out a paper. In nearly 30 years, we’ve never missed a week.
So believe me when I say this was a tough decision and not one made lightly. There are so many supporters out there we want to thank—the dedicated drivers who load bundles into their personal vehicles every week to get the paper to our hundreds of distribution spots; the mom-and-pop local businesses who have been advertising with us for years; the columnists and freelancers who have launched (or extended) their careers with us; and the readers who have made us a part of their lives. Special thanks from the editorial team to Joe MacLeod, our Art Director-Guru for the past two years. Beyond being the brains behind the scenes combining all the stories and photos and ads into what we all recognize as a newspaper—Joe has brought decades of alt-weekly newspaper experience to our team, keeping us fresh and fun.
The truth is, we aren’t going anywhere. We are going everywhere.
Our website continues to be your home for the stories and columns you love, plus the classifieds and our event calendar. And we are only going to get better.
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