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Free Lance Star in Fredericksburg files for bankruptcy

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by 93Devil, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member


    What makes this even more sad is this is pretty much a mom and pop shop that seemed to have a good local readership and a niche between DC and Richmond. The Wash Post and Times Dispatch were not going to war with them on stories and there is no local television to compete for the local news stories.

    They have a base of about 250,000 potential customers, and they seem to still not be able to make it work.

    This is sad, because if any newspaper had a chance to stay afloat through all of this, the FLS was it. At least that's the way I see it.
  2. Justin_Rice

    Justin_Rice Active Member

    I don't want to comment too much, because I love my job.

    But as I understand it, it wasn't so much that we haven't been able to make it work, as it has been the debt associated with the new printing facility we started building the day before the recession started.
  3. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    I saw that as well. It's just sad.
  4. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    FLS got hit with the perfect storm.
  5. Hokie_pokie

    Hokie_pokie Well-Known Member

    To be fair, the company contributed at least somewhat to its own demise. At the risk of outing myself, I know because I was one of the early casualties.

    In Sports, at least, we threw money around like drunken sailors on shore leave. Lots of unnecessary travel, covering Final Fours, bowl games, even several Daytona 500s. Looking back on it five years after my last day, I still shake my head at some of the really fun, but ultimately silly, trips I made on the company dime.

    And don't get me started on the "wisdom" of taking on millions in debt to build a new printing facility just as print was accelerating into the abyss.

    Lots of really good, hard-working people at that paper. Too bad they're most likely going to pay the price for questionable decisions they had nothing to do with.
  6. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    FLS was trying to compete with the big boys. There's nothing wrong with that. Here's hoping for the best for all involved.
  7. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Not knowing the specifics in this case, I'll agree in general with Walter. There can be a lot wrong with trying to compete with the "big boys" if you don't have the resources to really compete. I once worked for a small paper that decided to compete with the big boys and actually did a very good job of it -- right up to the day it folded.
  8. Justin_Rice

    Justin_Rice Active Member

    An update.

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