Saturday, August 20, 2016

Remote Alaska town of 5,000 still has 2 newspapers

Homer is 222 miles by road from Anchorage. (Bing map)
There aren't many small towns in the U.S. with two printed newspapers. For a while, there was one fewer. Now the Homer Tribune has resumed print publication, joining the Homer News in serving Homer, Alaska, a fishing-and-tourism town of 5,000 at one end of the nation's paved road system. Both regularly win awards from the Alaska Press Club.

“Some people prefer the Tribune, some prefer the Homer News, some of us prefer to have access to both newspapers,” Jan Knutson, coordinator for the Homer Chamber of Commerce, told Daysha Eaton of KBBI in Homer, part of Alaska Public Media.

The Tribune went online-only in June, but returned to print this month after it was bought by Alaska Media LLC, which also owns The Arctic Sounder and the Bristol Bay Times-Dutch Harbor Fisherman. The News is owned by Georgia-based Morris Communications, which also owns the Juneau Empire. "The Tribune plans to maintain a content-sharing agreement with Alaska Dispatch News," formerly the Anchorage Daily News, Eaton reports. "The parties have not disclosed the purchase price."

“We weren’t actually looking for newspapers, but we do have some talented staff that live in Homer and so it was a natural to pick up the Homer Tribune and start publishing it as well,” Alaska Media co-owner Jason Evans told Eaton. “Online is a really active and important piece of the puzzle, especially in today’s day and age. But we feel a printed paper is also really important. It is something that people can take with them to their camps. They can cut out photos and hang them on their refrigerator. As a weekly paper, we feel like a print edition is still critical to the success of it and also adds to the community.” (Read more)

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