By Allen Forkum, Editor and Publisher
When the Nashville Banner stopped publication in 1998, the headline on their final issue read “End of Story.” And though December 2020 is the final issue of The Nashville Retrospect newspaper, it is not the end of our story.
I enjoy learning about Nashville history and sharing it with you too much to stop entirely. Not only will we continue to sell archive issues of the Retrospect, we will also continue developing new projects, like the Nashville History Map. And the Retrospect may even come back in a new form in the future. That is why it is important for us to stay in touch with you. If you haven’t already done what hundreds of others have, please sign up to receive the free Nashville Retrospect Dispatch email by clicking here.
We will soon start emailing news and Nashville history content to those who sign up, and I don’t want you to miss anything.
Stopping the Retrospect newspaper was a very difficult decision for us to make. As I mentioned last month, we have struggled to keep the newspaper viable for a number of years. Our company, AutoGraphic Publishing Co., has been producing newspapers since 1988. At the time, newspapers in general were already being affected by changes in the marketplace. Our first publication was for the automotive industry, and we added seven more like it over the following decades. We had a lot of success in the early years, but eventually those publications started having their ups and downs, too, which is why we launched the Retrospect in 2009 during the recession, to diversify the types of publications we offered.
It’s now 11 and a half years later, and the pandemic and economic shutdown have added more to that ongoing struggle than we can weather. So, after 32 and a half years, all nine newspapers are ending with the December issues. AutoGraphic’s Automotive Report will continue online, and we are working on how the Retrospect may evolve.
After our announcement last month, many Retrospect subscribers have chosen to donate the remainder of their subscriptions to us or to exchange the remainder for Retrospect products. We are so grateful for this. It is not only heartwarming, it will help us to continue producing content for fans of Nashville history. I urge subscribers to see the notice below for instructions on how to settle your subscription if it extends beyond the December issue.
Many of you readers have been so very supportive over the years. Reading your compliments and condolences the last few weeks has been a tonic during this challenging transition. Thank you. I’m encouraged to know that you have so enjoyed and learned from the Retrospect, as I have, and I hope you will continue to follow us as we move forward.
Though I’m unable to list every person who has contributed to the Retrospect over the years, each one has my deepest gratitude, for the Retrospect newspaper literally would not have been possible without them. (See the December issue for acknowledgements, including advertising sponsors, without whom we would not have made it this far.)
My heartfelt thanks to them and to you, the readers and fans of the Retrospect. Please stay in touch and sign up for our free email list, The Nashville Retrospect Dispatch, by clicking here.
Our story is not ending, because there is so much more Nashville history to tell.
And don’t forget that we’re a great source for gifts this holiday season. The Retrospect’s Nashville History Map makes a wonderful present for the history lovers in your life. So do our Sampler Sets, which are four-issue packs themed to favorite topics, like Opryland USA, Civil War, Nashville Memories, Infamous Murders, and Civil Rights. Place your orders at our new online store.
Thank you all so very much.
NOTICE TO SUBSCRIBERS
If your current subscription extends past this issue into 2021, we apologize for not being able to fulfill it with new issues of The Nashville Retrospect newspaper. We have a number of options available for settlement, including a prorated refund, which will take us a few months to process and for which we ask your patience.
However, if you instead wish to donate the remainder of your subscription to us, we would be deeply grateful, for doing so will help the publishing company to stay in business and to further research and develop new Nashville history projects, possibly the Retrospect in a new form.
Another option is to exchange the remainder of your subscription for archive issues ($3 each) or for The Retrospect’s Nashville History Map ($10). This option allows us to reduce our inventory while at the same time giving you more of the old Nashville stories you love.
ACTION SUBSCRIBERS MUST TAKE:
If your current subscription extends past December 2020, we need to know your preference. You should contact us by email at email@example.com or by mail at The Nashville Retrospect, 1121 Airport Center Drive, Nashville, TN 37214. In your message designate your choice of the three options:
A) “I want to donate the remainder of my subscription”;
B) “I want to exchange the remainder of my subscription for another Retrospect product”; or
C) “I want a prorated refund of my subscription.”
Remember to include all your contact information so we can provide further instructions. Again, we apologize and we thank you for your patience and understanding.