Northwest NEWS

December 11, 2000

Business

Valley Record sold to Horvitz Newspapers

by Lisa Allen
   Valley View Editor
   SNOQUALMIE - The Snoqualmie Valley Record, which had been one of the few independently owned weekly newspapers remaining in the area, has been sold to Horvitz Newspapers, publisher of the Eastside Journal. The sale was effective Dec. 1.
   The Record, based in Snoqualmie, has published continually since 1913.
   Previous owner/publisher Jim McKiernan said last week he will stay on as general manager of the Record, emphasizing the business will continue to work out of the same office in downtown Snoqualmie.
   The sale will allow the paper to take advantage of the Eastside Journal's facilities and staff, he said, which will improve content and allow for better news coverage.
   "We will see the page count go up, with more focus on in-depth stories," he explained. "And we will be adding staff, including a sports editor and full-time sports photographer."
   McKiernan, 38, said he is deeply involved in sports and wants to expand coverage to include more Cedarcrest High School athletic events.
   "I believe that sports is the foundation of community journalism," he said. "And we are well entrenched in the community."
   McKiernan said the time was right to sell.
   "In certain markets community journalism is growing," he said. "There is a lot of interest by big organizations to look at weeklies. We were able to look at multiple offers so we could decide what was the best thing for the newspaper. It's a rare situation. We liked the (Horvitz) commitment to community journalism and their investment in making the newspaper better."
   McKiernan and his wife, Karen, purchased the Snoqualmie Valley Record almost five years ago from her parents and their partners who had owned it since 1968. During the late 1960s the paper also published the Carnavall Reporter, which covered the Duvall-Carnation area, and the Issaquah Record.
   Over the years, the paper faced little competition from subscriber-based publications until the early 1990s, when the owners of the Eastside Journal bought out a small Snoqualmie advertising weekly and developed it into the Snoqualmie Valley Reporter.
   The two papers went head-to-head for several years until competition for advertising dollars forced the Reporter to fold.
   "We all cheered when we heard the Reporter closed down," said McKiernan. "It's interesting that these are the same people who had the Reporter (who are buying the Record). But they have indicated that they want to continue to invest in the community here."
   The newspaper has been in the same spot since 1913, but in 1950 the original building was torn down and replaced with the current structure.
   McKiernan said his interest in spending more time with his young children was one of the driving forces behind the decision to sell.
   "Parents need to spend more time with their kids and I'm heavily involved with them," he said.
   "That was one of the considerations that enough time is allotted for family."
   McKiernan said Horvitz also purchased three other Puget Sound area weekly newspapers at the same time the Record was purchased.
   "This is a good deal for us and the community," he said. "This option by far shined above all the others."