Today Mountain Xpress said goodbye, for now, to seven members of our team. The job cuts were spread throughout the company and affected our advertising, design, IT and editorial departments. We know that these losses are not unique to Xpress, and that similar pains are being shared throughout our community — but we’re terribly sad to lose our smart, creative coworkers and their contributions.
We took this step in the face of huge declines in our advertising revenues as the COVID-19 pandemic brings events, performances, dining and happenings to a standstill. We hope that our cost-saving measures, which are accompanied by cuts to the pay and hours of our remaining staff, will give us the best chance of continuing to serve Western North Carolina with news, information and inspiration.
The community’s recent response to our request for support at this unprecedented time has been amazing and reaffirming — and bolsters our ability to continue our work. The number of people who have become members has more than tripled, and we’ve received 120 one-time donations. We understand that not everyone who would like to give is in a position to do so, and we deeply appreciate those who’ve stepped up with money, words of support and offers of assistance. Please keep it coming, and we’ll continue to dig deep, make hard choices and remain focused on our mission of building a better community.