I was saddened but not surprised to learn that the five-plus years of the revived Richfield Springs Mercury will come to an end with this issue.
This is a perilous time for newspapers. Even in the biggest cities, with immense pools of potential advertising revenue – a newspaper’s life blood – papers are losing money.
Jay Bernhardt knew from the beginning that it would be difficult to get The Mercury on a breakeven basis. I know. I made that very point during a long meeting we had in the late spring of 2003. But Jay spoke with passion about what The Mercury meant to him and others as he was growing up. He knew instinctively how important a newspaper is to building and maintaining a sense of community.
Jay has put his own money on the line repeatedly over the past five years to keep The Mercury going.
And for five years, Richfield Springs and the surrounding area got a much stronger weekly newspaper than the area’s economy and population would typically allow. I hope that very community-minded effort is not forgotten. I know a large number of people are going to miss The Mercury!
Jay Bernhardt deserves so much credit on so many fronts for what he’s done for Richfield Springs over the years.
This may be a sad point but he should not look at it as a failure. He tried something ambitious and it didn’t work out. But so much good work he has done in Richfield Springs goes on day after day.
He has, indeed, made Richfield a better, stronger community.
Thanks, Jay, for sticking with the Mercury for so long. It was a noble dream.
Sun Lakes, AZ
(Editors note: Before moving to Arizona in late 2003, the writer helped bring to life the revived Mercury.)