Rogue Valley Times planning to cut back, part of changes at corporate level

MEDFORD, Ore.- The Rogue Valley Times is planning to cut back as part of a variety of changes at the corporate level.

Mark Cohen, The RV Times’ Interim Publisher, says the newspaper is going from printing three times a week to two. According to The RV Times’ website, revenues have dropped, and layoffs are needed. Cohen says changes like these aren’t unexpected for a new company.

Startups take a little time, so we’re just making some financial adjustments. We’ve always had challenges in our business, and we’ve always have been able to overcome those challenges. It’s just a short-term blip, unfortunately, but again, we believe we can overcome some of these things.

The RV Times’ parent company EO Media Group operates 12 Oregon and Washington newspapers. It launched The Rogue Valley Times in Medford barely over a year ago. The Oregonian reports 28 staffers will be laid off by EO Media Group while others will have their hours cut, and it will seek a new owner. Cohen tells us rising expenses are a problem.

“We deliver via mail. Well, those mail costs have been out of the roof,” Cohen said, “The other thing is medical costs have really sky-rocketed for us that we didn’t anticipate that.”

But while Cohen says they’re facing some unpredicted challenges, he also says restructuring isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“You have to rethink your content all the time, knowing your audience. So, we’ve got to make sure we’re adjusting that,” Cohen said, “I’m sure we constantly have those discussions, and we’ll continue, right now, to say ‘okay, what shifts do we need to make here?'”

Cohen says they haven’t yet decided which day they will no longer print, whether it be Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. He says by going down to two publications, they will have more time to make their two papers better and possibly improve their daily online presence.

“Folks are looking at us digitally, right? We know. So, we’ve got a very good presence there, we’ve got a growing audience online,” Cohen said. “We’re picking up different demographics online that we didn’t get before.”

Cohen says The RV Times plans to focus more on advertising revenue going forward to help combat some of their expenses. He says The RV Times will continue to stay up to date with the community about changes they make.

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NBC5 News Reporter Lauren Pretto grew up in Livermore, California and attended University of California, Santa Cruz, graduating with a double major in Film/Digital Media and Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. Lauren is a lover of books, especially Agatha Christie and Gothic novels. When her nose isn't buried in a book, she knits, bakes, and writes.
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