News brands: “Sad day for everyone” as Border Watch closes after 159 years

“Today is a sad day for everyone.”

The final edition of Mount Gambier’s The Border Watch has been published today.
The black front cover of the newspaper had a special message for readers: Thank You.

This farewell from the newspaper on its final day:

“For decades employees were determined to not be the ‘first’ to miss an edition – current staff did not dare miss the last.
“That deep sense of pride in their work epitomises The Border Watch.
“It never has been about the individual or the brand.
“Each edition – and the mountain of work behind it – has always been for the community.
“We were here for you. Thank you for being here for us.”
The Border Watch 1861-2020

This was a message from the publishers about the closure released earlier this week:

For 159 years The Border Watch Newsgroup has been the voice of the Mount Gambier and district community, so much so it became known as the “Community Watchdog”.

During those 159 years it fought to protect society against any wrongdoing and look after the interests of its readers and local community.

It has always remained proudly locally-owned by firstly, the Laurie and Watson families and since 1977 it has been owned by the Scott family.

It has also had the distinction of operating for 159 years without missing an edition – that will no longer be the case.

Sadly, today, the Board of Directors of The Border Watch Pty Ltd, which includes The Border Watch, South Eastern Times (Millicent) and The Pennant (Penola) announce that these newspapers, along with Millicent Print and the company’s associated digital platforms will cease production as of Friday, August 21.

The 38 staff employed by the company were told of the decision today.

They will receive all redundancy, annual and long service entitlements.

Like regional newspapers in the United States and Europe over recent years Australia’s regional newspaper network has struggled in the past few years with many downsizing or closing.

The Border Watch Board of Directors said every effort had been made to keep the presses running.

“As currently experienced throughout the regional media industry the recent impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly worsened the financial viability of TBW that was already severely impacted by declining advertising revenues and newspaper sales as well as increasing competition from a variety of digital media platforms.

“Taking these issues into consideration TBW has made the very difficult decision to close its operations.

“The company employs 38 staff and their loyalty during some difficult times in the past year is of the highest order and directors paid tribute to these talented, hard-working and in many cases, long-serving members of The Border Watch family.

“To our loyal readers and advertisers we say a big thank for your support over many years.

“Finally to our loyal and dedicated staff who have given so much to this company and its various media operations over so many years, we say a big thank you and our hearts go out to them and their families during this difficult time.

“Today is a sad day for everyone.”

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