Bigfork Eagle – December 30, 2015
This is the last stand-alone print edition of The Bigfork Eagle, a newspaper which has proudly served Bigfork and the surrounding community since 1976, but we are not going away.
Starting soon, the Eagle will focus more online, with a goal toward becoming even more relevant. Because we will not be holding stories for the print publication, our website at www.bigforkeagle.com will be updated more often and you will be able to stay current on community news and sports throughout the week. Of course, we will also continue our growing presence on Facebook and Twitter.
“The decision to halt publication of the Bigfork Eagle as a stand-alone newspaper was necessitated by pure economics,” said Publisher Rick Weaver. “It was a very difficult and painful decision, but the only other option was to continue to lose money. Historically the newspaper has been consistently unprofitable, and it doesn’t look like there is any end in sight. The changes that are being put in place will ensure that the Eagle is a viable publication that will continue into the future.”
Weaver added, “It is important for folks to realize that the Eagle is not going away, it is changing to meet a changing world with the intent of being a profitable paper in the future. The easiest decision financially would have been to shut the newspaper down and move on but that is not what is happening.”
Weaver said that the Eagle’s editor, David Reese, and reporter, Sally Finneran, were each offered the opportunity to continue covering the Bigfork community working for Hagadone Montana Publishing in Kalispell, but have declined the offers.
“We have plans to start a wrap-around print edition of the Eagle that will be distributed in the Bigfork area with the Wednesday Inter Lake,” Weaver said. “But because of the change in staffing, that new edition will not be available till sometime in the first quarter of 2016.”
As envisioned by Weaver, the new Bigfork Eagle will be wrapped on top of the news section of the Inter Lake for maximum visibility. Because delivery will no longer rely on mail service, all copies of the new Eagle will be delivered early Wednesday mornings. The recent closing of the Kalispell post office distribution center has often resulted in later delivery of the Eagle. By piggybacking delivery with the Inter Lake readers will receive their Eagle print version earlier in the week. Postage has been one of the biggest expenses incurred by the Eagle on an ongoing basis.