The newspaper masthead. It’s immediately recognizable when you hear the publication’s name. The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal. You can envision their front-page nameplates in their distinctive fonts.
We are The Chronicle: Minion Pro/bold, Neue Haas Grotesk Display, Pro/55 Roman, and AdornS Serif/Reg.
Get used to it, friends.
Like many small businesses, we are emerging from the past two years with a few visible scars, and maybe a few that are less obvious but no less severe. Still, we optimistically forge ahead with the determined belief we have set the foundation for future success.
The Chronicle, first published in September 1909, then rebirthed in spring 1965 after a 15-year hiatus, is alive and well. We have our readers, advertising partners, and a virtual army of supporters in the southern Willamette Valley to thank.
As we navigated through the virus, mandates, and vaccines, we also kept building relationships. We’ve formed several strategic partnerships with organizations in our communities who are making a positive impact.
You’ll see that Chronicle masthead and “hyper-local” branding at Concerts in the Park this summer in Cottage Grove. The Chamber of Commerce and The Chronicle are strong allies in helping support the community at large and local small businesses. You’ll also see our brand around Creswell, as we work hand-in-glove with the town’s Chamber of Commerce on important community-wide celebrations from the Mother’s Day weekend yard sales to Fourth of July to the Winter Lights Festival.
You’ll also see our masthead at Hamlin Sports Complex in Springfield, thanks to an agreement with Bushnell University, and specifically its baseball team. High school baseball players, their families, students, parents, the Bushnell Beacons, the Springfield Drifters wooden-bat league, and all manner of camps and tournaments throughout the year will see The Chronicle banner on the outfield wall.
You’ll hear about our hyper-local coverage throughout the day on radio station KRVM-FM (91.9). We’re proud to be associated with the public radio station, and sponsoring programming like “Breakfast With The Blues.”
And, we’re just getting started.
Of course, the masthead is much more than a brand – it should be instantly recognizable as a trusted source of news and information. Newspapers are in the credibility business as much as they are in the business of gathering info, speaking to sources, and writing stories. And today, we’re better positioned than ever to fulfill our commitments to the under-served readers in the southern Willamette Valley.
Thursday, April 7, is another milestone in the paper’s history as we endeavor to fulfill that mission. We are celebrating our distinctive presence in the three biggest communities we cover – Springfield, Creswell, and Cottage Grove.
And you’re invited, of course.
The activities begin at noon outside the Bank Building in Cottage Grove, 609 E. Main St.
While this is a joyous occasion, it’s partly the result of one of the most difficult decisions we made during the pandemic – to leave our space on Oregon Avenue in downtown Creswell. As I’ve written before, the 1200-square-foot Creswell newsroom without walls wasn’t feasible for our business, and maintaining multiple offices was not financially sustainable. Enter Len Blackistone, the developer who remodeled the Bank Building in downtown Cottage Grove with residential lofts on the upper floor and a shared work space on the first floor. The opportunity to pay less than $100 a month with access to office space, conference rooms, private “Zoom rooms,” break-room and kitchenette spaces, and copiers and faxes fit right into our budget. It gave us a better presence than we’ve ever had in the Grove. In fact, we’ve just updated from the open-space option to a high-walled cubicle there, where our new reporter Kyleigh Norgrove will be stationed most of the time. You’ll see columnist Dana Merryday there on occasion, too.
When festivities there wrap up around 1 p.m. on Thursday, we’ll drive up to Creswell and spend time with RuthAnn Seim, the Creswell chamber’s community engagement specialist, and chat up residents as we hand out copies of the 2022-23 newcomers and visitors guide. The cover features a beautiful view of Creswell from high above Garden Lake Park, and local business owners Johnny Saldana III of Bigfoot Fudge Factory, Jessica Landstra of Farmlands Market, and Seth Clark of Blue Valley Bistro. They represent the optimism and real growth happening in “The Friendly City.” Chronicle contributor and drone photographer Bobby Stevens delivered all of the images for the magazine, and Erin Tierney did the heavy lifting on design.
We’ll be back at our Springfield office by 3:30 p.m. for the day’s second ribbon-cutting event, thanks to the Springfield Chamber of Commerce. A few months ago we expanded into a second-floor space on the corner of A and 7th Streets, a block off Main Street.
Our location is terrific with City Hall, Springfield Public Schools,the library, the museum, and the post office all within a minute or two walking distance. Of course, the very cool, retro-looking Springfield Buick Motors dealership is catty-corner to us (kitty-corner?), and restaurants and shops up and down Main Street offer plenty to see and do.
It bears repeating: Print is not dead. Bad print, that ignores its readers and communities, is dying as a relevant product. The large corporations and hedge funds who now own most newspapers are busy squeezing the last penny possible from the operations.
That’s not our business model.
We are a mom-and-pop business, literally. A local husband-and-wife team. We are local residents, creating the content in the paper, on our website and social media pages, in our magazines. Local reporters and editors. Local photographers and graphic designers. Local business people from our office manager to our accountant. The Chronicle delivers unique-and-differentiating content – both in terms of quality journalism and subject matter. We are a multi-platform, multimedia, hyper-local, news and information business. We are your family, friends, and neighbors.
We are The Chronicle.
Noel Nash is publisher of The Chronicle.