The Bayside Gazette is ending its southern Worcester County edition after this week, but not before acknowledging the support it received from readers and the leadership in that area.
Officials and residents of Snow Hill and Pocomoke were not only receptive to our venture, but did whatever they could to help us establish ourselves.
Readers responded to our effort in such high numbers that we are just as disappointed as they must be with our decision.
Nevertheless, the decision to revert to the Gazette’s original mission of providing solid coverage of Ocean Pines and Berlin is fundamental: the revenue required to cover the increasing cost of producing the Snow Hill/Pocomoke edition did not reach the necessary level.
The expense/revenue factor became more critical in recent weeks, when the federal government imposed preliminary tariffs on newsprint imported from Canada to correct a supposed “trade imbalance.”
It is true that Canada produces two-thirds of the newsprint consumed in this country, but the reasons for that have nothing to do with product dumping, as the Department of Commerce sees it.
Simply put, Canada has more trees to turn into paper pulp, and numerous American mills have closed in recent years as larger newspaper companies published fewer — and smaller — pages to save money, thus making paper manufacturing less profitable than it once was.
This tariff is expected to go up even more later this year — despite strong objections from some 1,200 American newspapers as well as most American paper manufacturers. Just last week, the cost of newsprint rose 11 percent, more than enough to make us review our numbers.
We’re not giving up; we’re just doing a strategic retreat. When the time comes that this tariff nonsense ends, and government notices and retail advertising become available at the threshold we need to break even, we’ll be back. Meanwhile, thanks for reading and helping.