The Tideland News published its final stand-alone newspaper Wednesday, will become section in sister paper

SWANSBORO| A long-standing business and news source for Swansboro residents ended one chapter this week and begins a new one that will bring a notable change.

The Tideland News published its final stand-alone newspaper Wednesday after a nearly 40-year run and will have a new look when it appears next week as a front section incorporated with its sister publication, The Carteret County News-Times.

Tideland News Editor Jimmy Williams said it’s not the end of their Swansboro presence, just a change.

“We’re not folding, we’re just re-inventing ourselves,” said Williams, who has served as editor of the Tideland News since 1981 and will continue to cover Swansboro news for the revamped publication.

Williams said the front of the paper will be updated but similar to the front familiar to Tideland News readers with approximately 4 to 8 pages of Swansboro coverage that will wrap around a complete copy of the News-Times.

“The stand-alone edition, that will be gone; it will be a new product,” Williams said.

Williams said there may be additional changes ahead as they work out details, but they remain committed to providing coverage of the Swansboro area.

“We’re just getting started with this. From here there will probably be other changes to help us continue as much comprehensive coverage as possible,” Williams said.

The Tideland News was founded in September 1978 by the late Wilda Hurst Knight and acquired in March 1981 by current owner Carteret Publishing Co.

Lockwood Phillips of Carteret Publishing Co. said the merger of the two publications will end duplication of coverage of the Swansboro and western Carteret County region while providing opportunities to broaden coverage in the area.Williams said they’ll continue to operate at the existing building, but the change also brought a hit to the Swansboro paper with the

Williams said they’ll continue to operate at the existing building, but the change also brought a hit to the Swansboro paper with the layoff of staff.

Brad Rich, a reporter with the Tideland News, learned Tuesday he’d be without a job; and he wasn’t alone. But it wasn’t the situation at the Tideland News that most frustrated Rich. He said the change is another reminder of the changes in the newspaper industry and readership.

“While I hate that I and Rich Levy, our wonderful sports guy who has for many years celebrated the accomplishments of countless student athletes in Swansboro, have lost our jobs, I am more disappointed that changes in American newspaper readership continue to result in the demise of news sources that are closest to the people, and which strive harder than any other sources in media to be honest and to tell the truth about what is important to real people,” Rich said. “I wish the folks who don’t read local newspapers anymore would start doing it again and would encourage the advertisers to come back.

“If we all go away, all the small town papers, they’re going to miss us more than they realize now. And we are almost all as endangered as the right whales.”

Williams said having to cut jobs has been the most difficult part of the process.

“That’s been the hardest thing; there is no easy way,” Williams said.

Williams said there have been changes industry-wide for a variety of reasons, from falling advertising revenues to changes in how readers get their news, but he said the changes ahead are also an opportunity to try new, fresh ideas.

“I’m very optimistic,” Williams said.