November 2021 Company Update

The financial side of our business continues to improve. Our Advertising Sales team and each functional support area are all doing an amazing job weathering the continued effects of Covid-19. Digital revenue is steadily growing, and we’re doing a nice job maximizing print and other niche revenue. As a company, we have a ways to go, and we need to maintain tight control over expenses to be prepared for the unexpected, but I’m really happy with the progress attained as we near the end of 2021!

Our News teams are doing great work across the company to not only grow the digital audience but to continue to produce really good print products each week and month. Keeping print readers happy and building our digital audience is important to our overall business growth. Everyone in the company receives our digital audience metrics each month. I encourage you all to spend time reviewing these numbers. As a total company, we’re pacing to deliver over 35MM page views/year and over 500K users. Awesome, impactful work being done by our News teams across each market. My suspicion is that this number will go flying past 50MM annualized this time next year.

On January 1, we’re going to be moving forward with a company-sponsored 401 (k) retirement savings plan. To start out in year one, the company is going to match 50% up to 5% of your compensation. As you’ll learn through the enrollment process, there are federal guidelines that determine how much you’re able to contribute to your plan tax-free each year. See the attached for some additional details on the plan and stay tuned for enrollment details in the next few weeks.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to share details with everyone in the company as it relates to people, job roles and structure in each of our markets and functional areas. There’s been so much change over the past year few years so I’m hoping that sharing this detail will be helpful to you all.

Exciting Digital Progress

As many of you, we now have an in-house, full-service digital marketing agency within our company. We have two of the best in the business leading our efforts—Joe Mathes and Caleb Anderson (and, of course, the deep bench of talent underneath them). We offer solutions that include search engine marketing, SEO, website development, video, targeted display, local display (our own audience), and on and on. We recently added Tik Tok into the mix…I can promise you that you won’t find any competitors in our markets doing this!

Just to further illustrate the business impact of digital…Heather and Caleb recently closed a $15k/month digital sale in Vermont with a company called ——-. In the past, this company spent anywhere from $1K to $2K/month with us on print recruitment campaigns. I don’t think I need to say anymore and there are many, many more examples of these types of wins from just about every market!

I’m proud to communicate that our company is now officially a Google Partner. Google has a rigorous process that requires performance, a certain ad spend level, and certification before allowing a company likes ours to be an official partner. We’re now working on the same type of certification with Facebook. Great work by Megan Ivey and Ben Letourneau!

We have 72 websites that we designed and continue to host for local businesses with another five in development. Jackson Thibault, who works in our Vermont market, does an excellent job leading these efforts.

Our internal fulfillment team is managing 90% of our digital campaigns. Just about 100% of our graphic design work is done in-house. Not to bore you with the details, but many of our peer companies and competitors white-label or outsource these support services. We believe that keeping it in-house provides us with a major competitive advantage!

We’re hiring in our Sales and News divisions in each market. Some of this recruitment activity is to fill open jobs, some positions are being added to support growth. I’m also willing to talk to and consider candidates in any of our functional areas. Sometimes the best candidates come from referrals from you, and or, your network. If you know anyone looking for a job change, please have them contact me directly or provide me their information.