To the readers and supporters of The Bourbon County Review:
It has been a great couple of years, but this is to let you know that we are suspending operations of The Bourbon County Review and its website immediately.
Please let me explain why.
In November 2013, the paper was abruptly transitioned from print to digital only. The staff wasn’t given a vote. I did not support it without a several month transition/test period where print and digital were run in tandem. However, as I am not afraid to embrace change, I made the best of it, and can say that our early analytics were impressive.
However, the architecture of the site was not what was needed for a successful digital newspaper.
I’ve been meeting with a website consultant and hosting expert. We had hoped to move the site to more responsive and accessible hosting and install updates and corrections that would help with the ongoing speed issue. However, the deeper we dug into the site, the more evident it became that the site was broken.
Not only broken, but not able to be fixed and operated at the same time. The conclusion was that the more we used the site, the slower it was going to become until it came to a stop. From our side of the equation, the site had already stopped. Adding content was a nightmare. The office computers and software we inherited were woefully, almost comically, inadequate to support a modern digital newspaper.
Unfortunately, it can’t be fixed in its current form. We have to start over.
So, as we go forward, here are some facts:
1. H&H Publishing and its owners are no longer affiliated in any way with North Main Media and its imprints: The Bourbon County Review and The Deadline. All that transferred were the names. North Main Media is not a successor in interest to H&H Publishing. We apologize, but if there are any unresolved business issues with H&H Publishing, we are not able to help you, nor are we legally obligated to satisfy any debts.
2. Regarding subscriptions, we inherited very few records. A wave of letters will be going out to subscribers in the next two weeks. Please give us until at least February 15, 2014 to contact you. It is very slow going, trying to wade through a cardboard box full of hand-written, undated cards. These letters will have an offer to settle any outstanding subscriptions. Please understand when I say that H&H Publishing left us with no resources, no business accounts, no secret stash of subscriber funds. When the employees took it over, we were trying to save a local resource. We haven’t given up on The Review, but it is necessary to clean the house and get it in order before we can reboot it as a print publication.
Refunds will be processed over the next few months. They will not be paid out of any business assets or H&H Publishing funds, the money will come straight out of the pockets of the employees, all of whom are freelancers who work from job to job. Even though we are not legally liable, we feel it is important to show the community our appreciation for their support.
A few ground rules about the subscription issue:
1. No refunds will be paid based on email, verbal, or phone requests. The only refunds paid out will be based on the instructions and form in the subscriber letter. This is necessary for tax purposes.
2. Since we are paying the refunds personally out of our own pockets, it will take a while. Anger and Topix posts will not make the process go faster. We will not go back into print until it is resolved.
3. No refunds will be paid in cash.
4. We are sorry for your anger. Decisions were made with minimal employee input and buy-in. All we can do is the best we can with what we have and move forward.
The Deadline isn’t going anywhere. This little publication is wildly popular up and down the state line and will continue in print and expanded digital format. It is the foundation on which we hope to rebuild The Bourbon County Review. If you are an advertiser on The Deadline, this does not affect you at all. If you are an advertiser on The Bourbon County Review, your ad rep will be in contact with you.
The Facebook page will continue as a way to share community information and updates on The Review. We hope you will stay with us.
Terri Lynn Coop and the crew of North Main Media
FORT SCOTT, KANSAS: Fort Scott National Historic Site invites the public to “The Underground Railroad,” a guided reading and discussion activity on Saturday, January 25, at 2:00 p.m. in the site’s Grand Hall.
Fort Scott National Historic Site will be closed Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 20, 2014. Visitors may enjoy the fort grounds during daylight hours, but the buildings and visitor center will not be open.
Fort Scott — Mercy Hospital Auxiliary held the Annual Membership Meeting on Wednesday, January 15 at Mercy Hospital. During the meeting, committee chairpersons made reports of activities in 2013.
WINFIELD – The Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission conducted a public hearing in Winfield on Jan. 9 to consider amendments to several wildlife and park regulations.