|Helena-West Helena, in Phillips|
County, Ark. (Wikipedia maps)
The twice-weekly paper had 625 paid subscribers when it closed. Now? "For a recent issue, the World sent out 416 copies to subscribers and had 422 single-copy sales, Bagley said. Circulation has topped 900 in recent weeks, boosted by the return of high-school football," Steed reports. "Single-copy sales spike when "there's a piece of juicy crime news," Bagley said. A goal is 1,000 copies a week, through subscriptions ($100 a year) and single-copy sales at ($1 each)."
Davis and Bagley now publish the paper once a week, but make sure it has at least two sections with at least a dozen pages per edition. Besides Bagley and Davis, they have a bookkeeper, two freelance writers, and a new editor coming in on Nov. 1, which Bagley says will free him up to concentrate on selling ads, Steed reports from the city of Helena-West Helena, the product of a 2006 merger.
Advertising has plummeted due to the pandemic, but the paper received a $3,000 state grant and $13,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program that helped it stay afloat, Steed reports.