Former Battle Born Media COO Kirk Kern called me the morning of Thursday, March 19.

“Hi Kirk, how are you?” I asked.

“Unemployed,” he responded. “We all are.”

A few days prior to that phone call I felt worried that Battle Born Media was nearing its end. Since my involvement with the company, tight margins were the norm. Then COVID-19 happened and our governor gave his orders for all non-essential businesses to close. I thought, there’s no way the company’s six papers can simultaneously absorb abrupt and significant drops in advertising revenue.

I didn’t think the end would come so fast, however. So Kirk’s call came as a shock. COVID-19 was the haymaker nobody saw coming.

Kirk had more to discuss. Would I be interested in taking ownership of the Lincoln County Record? The predicament we’re all in right now did give me some pause, but it didn’t take me long to say yes.

We’re taking over ownership for three reasons:

  1. The Record still serves an important role in the county.
  2. This pandemic (hopefully) won’t last forever.
  3. Community news organizations can be successful.

I thank Battle Born Media’s owners, Tim Dahlberg and Sherman Frederick, as well as Kirk Kern and staff members, spread throughout the state. Thank you for the opportunity. It’s been a pleasure working with all of you.

I know so many of us are facing unexpected and difficult challenges. We at the Record will do our best to perform our role in Lincoln County as we all try to weather this storm.

Here’s to brighter days ahead.

Ben Rowley