With the Fourth Sunday of Advent come final preparations for the birth of the Christ Child. It’s one of the busiest weeks of the year. It’s also a time to begin looking back on the year just past.

It certainly has been an interesting year for publishers. Layoffs went through the roof throughout this industry. More newspapers and magazines shut their doors. Ominously, Editor & Publisher, around for more than a century, is no more. By early December, the outlook was so bleak that the Federal Trade Commission held a workshop to discuss ways the U.S. government could help to “save journalism.”

I liked the response to that scenario offered by Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp. (parent company of The Wall Street Journal and many other prospering media enterprises).

“The future of journalism is more promising than ever — limited only by editors and producers unwilling to fight for their readers and viewers, or government using its heavy hand either to overregulate or subsidize us,” Murdoch wrote in a WSJ column. “Some newspapers and news organizations will not adapt to the digital realities of our day — and they will fail. We should not blame technology for these failures. The future of journalism belongs to the bold, and the companies that prosper will be those that find new and better ways to meet the needs of their viewers, listeners and readers.”

That’s why we’re looking forward to every-other-week production of our print edition starting with your next issue (which will be dated Jan. 3-16, 2010). The print Register will only get better, even as we improve the quality, usefulness and interactivity of our website, NCRegister.com.

Of course, it’s all God’s work, and he has arranged that we depend on the prayers and support of our readers. Thank you for partnering with us as promoters and donors in 2009. I wish you and your loved ones a happy and holy Christmas.