Tucked away in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley is The Free Press, a local community newspaper located in Edinburg, Virginia. Since 1985, Keith Stickley has published The Free Press, which is dedicated to keeping readers informed about local events and government.
In the face of declining revenues in the newspaper industry, Mr. Stickley has adapted, even thrived, in this difficult environment, adding a website and Facebook page to increase his customer engagement. Still, print remains an essential part of his business.
Several years ago, The Free Press purchased a Muller Martini Presto saddle stitcher to augment its commercial printing operation, Narrow Passage Press. I recently spoke with Mr. Stickley. He told me that the Presto stitcher was the best equipment investment he had ever made because of the commercial work it’s generated, so much so that it has kept him in business while other community papers closed shop or sold out.
And, because of that one asset, The Free Press is still free, calling out local politicians for their misdeeds and shenanigans and keeping his readers informed of the important stories in their community.