BY BILL HORNER III
News + Record Publisher
Welcome to the “new” Chatham News + Record.
With this edition, we’re debuting your newspaper’s new look. The modern design elements …
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Welcome to the “new” Chatham News + Record.
With this edition, we’re debuting your newspaper’s new look. The modern design elements you’ll find throughout are the result of months of work and collaboration done in order to deliver you the most attractive news product possible.
Why embark on a redesign?
Since the locally-owned Chatham Media Group acquired The Chatham News and The Chatham Record in November, we have been working continuously to improve operations and content. As local owners of this newspaper, we also sought out the very best design consultants available to help the newspaper give the best reflection possible on our growing county. We ultimately partnered with Creative Circle Media Solutions, a Rhode Island-based firm that has worked with nearly 700 newspapers across the United States – from large metropolitan dailies to small weeklies – to make the newspaper’s new look as accessible as possible for readers.
In addition, we’ve partnered this week with one of North Carolina’s best small daily newspapers – The Wilson Times – to outsource our pagination process. With a creative team of layout artists working there to provide this function, it will allow our newsroom staff in Siler City and Pittsboro to focus more time on reporting about what matters to you in Chatham County.
Along with the paper’s new website – which debuted shortly after our acquisition from the Resch family in November – the goal of all these changes, and our significant investment, is to give our readers and advertisers an attractive, functional and eminently readable news product. We want to deliver a community newspaper that looks and feels up to date, yet still retains an identity which serves our mission to speak to this county’s needs in changing times.
Regular readers have already commented positively about the content changes we’ve implemented – more stories, more in-depth reporting and more information. The new design will allow us to do still even more in terms of our presentation of news and information, so be on the lookout for additional content additions and improvements in the weeks and months to come.
If you’re a regular reader, the design will allow us to enhance features in the newspaper you’ve enjoyed for years. For the casual or occasional reader, you’ll find a newspaper we believe will compare favorably to the best newspapers of our size in all of North Carolina.
As with the other changes we’re implementing, keep in mind that it’s a work in progress – particularly as our staff gets used to our new format. The end goal, again, is to allow us to focus more about what matters most in Siler City, Pittsboro, Goldston, Bonlee, Bear Creek, Bennett, Bynum, Wilsonville, Moncure, Governors Club, Fearrington and Briar Chapel – and everywhere in between in Chatham County.
Let us know what you think – what you like, what you don’t, and what you’d like to see added. You can email me directly at email@example.com, or call my direct line at (919) 663-3250.
As we offer this improved product to you, we’d like to ask something in return from you.
First, if you’ve not done so, please subscribe. Our current annual subscription price of $35/year ($45 for out-of-county residents) is a bargain – less than a dollar a week for news about Chatham and its people that you simply won’t find anywhere else.
If you’re already a subscriber, we say this: thank you. As we work to create a sustainable business model in an age where small newspapers all across the country are closing – and during a time when good journalism is more important than ever – we need more readers like you. Share the newspaper with your friends and neighbors, or consider giving a gift subscription. The “subscribe” link on our website makes that easy, or you can simply call us at (919) 663-3232.
The second thing we’re asking: we need strong, consistent support from the business community.
In this digital age, talk of “print is dead” is spectacularly erroneous. The News + Record delivers some 10,000 unique readers to advertisers each and every week. Ads in the newspaper provide a call to action to those readers and lead them to local businesses. The simple fact is, in order for us to continue to grow and flourish – as the county grows and flourishes – the Chatham News + Record cannot survive without more advertising support from businesses all across Chatham County.
Advertising packages in the CN+R start at just $129 for a four-week run. Even in the Facebook age, newspapers still consistently deliver customers who have spendable dollars to businesses – customers who are just waiting to be invited through the doors of local retailers and service providers. Your advertisement in the CN+R helps us both.
We also invite you to help us tell Chatham’s story better. If there’s something we’re not covering, let us know. The simplest way is to email the newsroom at firstname.lastname@example.org, or to speak to anyone in our newsroom by calling (919) 663-3232.
Our newspaper has a record of service to Chatham County that dates back to 1878. As we’ve written before in these pages, a strong community and a strong newspaper are always closely linked together.
Help us remain strong by continuing to read and support the News + Record.
We’re all about Chatham County. Let’s grow together.