Today marks the fifth week we have recognized publishers that, despite difficult challenges and uncertainty, have prioritized their community as much as, if not more than, their own business interests.
We continue to be inspired by all of the gestures we’ve seen from around the industry, and we truly appreciate those of you who have reached out to share what you’re doing to give back. While there may be several more weeks to go before we start to recognize our new normal, we will proudly keep telling your stories of compassion.
M. Shanken Communications
The Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation has pledged a contribution of $250,000 to World Central Kitchen, celebrity chef Jose Andres’ foundation which provides meals to those affected by natural disasters. The donation will offer additional support to the organization, which is dedicated to feeding the hungry and has been redirecting its efforts to benefit frontline workers as well as children, families and seniors who are struggling to meet basic needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This donation is intended to help feed many of the Americans who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, including restaurant workers, as well as front-line health care workers and other vulnerable groups,” said Marvin Shanken, editor and publisher of Wine Spectator, in a statement.
John Alred and Anthony Cook, Consolidated Publishing
To date, most of our shout-outs have been given to publishing companies instead of the people behind the companies. However, this week we have to acknowledge the selfless gestures of John Alred and Anthony Cook, publisher and executive editor, respectively, at Consolidated Publishing, an Alabama-based parent company of five local newspapers.
With its advertising business taking a hit during the pandemic, Consolidated Publishing realized it needed to furlough some employees in order to cut costs. In response, Alred, a publishing veteran who spent the past 13 years at the company, voluntarily retired after a 47-year career in journalism.
Likewise, when asked to reduce costs in the newsrooms, executive editor Anthony Cook made the decision to furlough himself in order to keep the remaining news teams at the The Anniston Star, The Daily Home, The St. Clair Times, The News-Journal and The Cleburne News intact.
“I do not take lightly walking away from such a talented and committed team, but I step away knowing that the mission is in good hands,” Cook explained in his final column, published April 10. “The reporters and editors of Consolidated Publishing deserve the support of the communities they serve. Not for any sentimental reason, but for the very tangible and valuable news coverage they provide that can’t be found anywhere else.”
“In times of crisis, we have to keep our priorities straight, and, frankly, the news is more important than I am,” he concluded.
In an effort to help college students who are wrapping up their semesters remotely, Bloomberg.com is granting three months of free access to its content to students who register with a university email address, starting this week and running through July 31.
“Bloomberg Media is dedicated to providing our global audience the news and information they rely on to make informed decisions, and we want to ensure this also extends to the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders who will need to navigate the impacts of the coronavirus for the unforeseeable future,” Justin Smith, CEO, said in a statement.
Air Age Media
The Wilton, Conn.-based enthusiast publisher of titles such as Model Airplane News and RC Car Action is following the lead of many other publishers who are opening up their archives to entertain and engage readers while they are under stay-at-home orders. All of its titles’ content from the past year is available for free to interested readers.
Co-owner Yvonne DeFrancesco encourages other publishers to consider a similar approach as a good faith gesture, even if they are wary about giving away content for free.
Are you a publisher that’s doing something to give back to your community? Let us know!
See our previous Friday shout-outs here: