The Cayman Compass has today announced a new focus on its digital platforms, with the newspaper to print on Fridays only.
The shift of strategy, which has had an impact on staffing, is the result of revenue losses sustained by the company from the effects of the coronavirus crisis.
“The coronavirus pandemic has put our media business into life or death territory,” said Compass publisher Kathleen Capetta. “Our choice is to change drastically or to close our doors. It is both costly and labour-intensive to deliver quality, unbiased and accurate journalism to a community every day.
“Despite these financial challenges, and today’s announcement, that’s what we’re still intent on doing. We love these three islands, and we believe the people who live here deserve nothing less.”
The Compass news team will continue up-to-the-minute reporting on the COVID-19 crisis, bringing updates on the website caymancompass.com, and on its social media platforms Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
A robust weekly print edition of the Compass will be published on Fridays, with in-depth reporting on the important matters facing the Cayman Islands.
Compass Print, the commercial printing arm of the company, remains operational and Compass Content, the new custom publishing and marketing division of Compass Media, is also open for business.
InsideOut magazine and other special supplements produced by Compass Media will continue to be published.
“We are not alone in this struggle; media companies, particularly locally owned media companies like ours, are downsizing and closing down around the world as a result of this sudden and catastrophic revenue loss,” said Ms Capetta. “As the closure of Cayman 27 demonstrated last year, the Cayman Islands is not immune from this trend, even without the COVID-19 impact. Simply put, existing legacy business models for media are not enough to sustain overhead costs, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation much worse.”
The company is also exploring various reader revenue options to help the news organisation survive and provide unbiased, quality and verified local journalism.
“We regret the inevitable impact on the workforce,” said Ms Capetta. “The Compass has trained and employed many Caymanians over its more than half-century of existence, and we will continue to do so for decades to come. Just as post-Hurricane Ivan, we hope this disruption is short-lived and we can once again grow together in the near future.”
Despite these difficult times, Compass Media remains committed to its mission to “Inform, educate, celebrate and convene our Community through quality storytelling, all with the goal of making the Cayman Islands a better place each and every day.”