Editorial: We may be moving, but we’re staying put

This company has published a newspaper on the North Fork since 1857 and along the way there have been many changes, big and small. This week, Times Review Media Group will experience another change, one that demonstrates our continuing commitment to the three towns we cover, Riverhead, Southold and Shelter Island.

As we announced last week, we are moving from the Mattituck building we’ve occupied since 1988 to a new office just a few doors to the west, at 7555 Main Road. It’s a smaller space, which is the better way to go in this time of remote work, but also one that will allow us to continue to improve how you receive the news, on paper and digitally.

While the newspaper industry nationwide has experienced massive change, with hundreds of small and medium-sized papers going out of business, we are committed to our mission of keeping our readers informed in both news and lifestyle.

The backdrop to our move, and to our commitment to serving our communities, is bleak. The COVID-19 pandemic that began in March 2020 forced an estimated 360 community newspapers to go out of business, according to the journalism school at Northwestern University.

Even before COVID, the school said, an average of two American newspapers closed every week. According to The New York Times, “The closures have perpetuated the problem of so-called news deserts — places with limited access to local news … Over one-fifth of Americans now live in such a place, or in a place that is at risk of becoming one.”

The Times reported in June that 2,500 U.S. newspapers had closed since 2005, adding, “The country is set up to lose one-third of its newspapers by 2025. And in many places, the surviving local media outlets have made major cuts to staff and circulation.”

We are bucking that trend by investing in our new space, in our staff and in the brands we publish, which include northforker magazine and our three newspapers. Our company will also launch a new lifestyle brand, southforker, later this fall.

As we move a short distance west on Main Road and set up shop in our new quarters, our message to readers is straightforward: We are here, we are staying and we are committed to our mission.