It is with deep sadness that we announce to you today that this Thursday will be the last edition of Blount Today. The reason for our closing is, of course, financial. It is no surprise to anyone that newspapers are having a hard time these days. Blount Today never fully recovered from the revenue we lost when real estate in Blount County took a beating. We hung in as long as we could, but the decision was made this week to close the paper.
Closing a newspaper is always a painful thing, but even more so when that newspaper is as much a part of the community as Blount Today has become in the past seven years. We tried so very hard to consistently offer a vivid snapshot of life in this community. I believe we raised the bar in Blount County and that this community was better served because Blount Today came along.
In the beginning, Blount Today asked you, the readers, to tell us what you wanted and what we could do for you. We invested in this community with our time and talents, our financial resources and our news space. In return, you gave us your praise, your love and your loyalty. Your kind words and response to our stories and our photographs have always been liberally given. You have invited us into your homes, to your events, asked us to be a part of your lives. We have had a great time with you, and then we shared those good times with our neighbors in print.
This community and I, personally, have been so blessed to have had the team that puts out Blount Today be a part of our lives. They are talented, dedicated and hard working, and they truly love this newspaper. You have seen twice a week what wonders they can do. I look forward to seeing what mountains they climb in the next chapters of their lives.
It is very difficult to say goodbye, and even writers sometimes just can’t find the right words to write. But I have a maxim that I recite some part of every day, and, though not original, it seems to be the best way to end our time together:
Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible.
We have done that every week at Blount Today. And we have been a part of something that we will always be able to point to with pride. Thank you for taking the journey with us. May God bless you.
Sherri Gardner Howell