Monday, April 15
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Acme Ventures Set To Pull Recourses From Randolph News Now; Cites Lack Of Interest In Digital Advertising

Randolph News Now

ASHEBORO N.C. (ACME NEWS) – Despite tens of thousands of monthly readers, Acme Ventures LLC, the parent company of both Acme News and Randolph News Now is set to begin pulling resources away from Randolph News Now starting as soon as the end of the month.

Randolph News Now saw a rapid and sustained growth at the end of 2021, with the monthly reader count spiking at 51,000 readers before leveling out to a new average of 25,000 readers per month. In 2022 the site has already passed 125,000 total readers. “Despite those numbers a lack of interest in digital advertising by local businesses has put us in the position where we have to start pulling resources away from the site to invest in other areas of the business” says Scott Pelkey, Director of Operations for Acme Ventures LLC and the News Director for Acme News. “We knew we were never going to get rich off a local news site, it’s always been about providing a service to the community. We expected there to be some aversion to digital advertising, but we thought there would be enough interest for the site to at least turn a small profit to support itself and some growth.”

Sales data shows of the 18 companies who reach out to inquire about advertising this month, 16 cited they were only interested in print advertising. “I don’t understand it, I don’t have the exact numbers but I’m willing to bet that our month reader counts are more than all print newspaper subscribers for the 3 major papers in the county combined” says Pelkey who also pointed out engagement metrics on Facebook which show the both Acme News and Randolph News Now have had higher levels of engagement this month than even the Courier-Tribune despite having more than 10,000 fewer page likes on each page.

So what happens now? Starting on May 1st 2022, Acme Ventures will begin looking at the resources and expenses as well as the time invested per week for the site and begin deciding where to cut back. It’s likely that the number of articles and categories of articles will be reduced along with some features being removed.

“When we started this project we made a promise that we would not charge readers on the site, and we’re committed to that, for better or for worse.” says Pelkey. “We have the support of the local community, they are visiting the site and reading the articles and we hear the positive feedback from them. What we don’t have is the support of local advertisers because they seem to only be interested in print. Without local advertising Randolph News Now simply can’t continue to operate at the scale it is.”