Publisher’s note: Welcome to WW 2.0

  • Written by Eric LaFontaine

To say the last few weeks have been a little off would be an understatement.

We were thrown a curveball at the beginning of October, which thankfully we’ve been able to foul off for the last three weeks. Now we’re sitting on our pitch. And here it comes. If you missed the candiate (sic) forum or WHS Fall Muscial (sic) a few weeks ago, then you missed two really great events, despite our inability to properly spell the words.

The good news is, we’ve recognized the issue and found a solution, which hopefully readers will quickly recognize in this week’s “nearly” error-free paper. And if you’re still looking for the survey on page 12, it’s safe to look again.

Rebuilding the paper, which thankfully didn’t need much reconstruction, has taken a little over 90 days to prove the paper is worth the $2.50 a month we’re asking readers to pay.

It’s just one less sub sandwich, every other month. This puts us right on track to convert the “give it away for free” model to a forward-thinking, reader-supported model.

This small shift to memberships will allow us to hire a new reporter, which will be announced in the next few weeks.

As the memberships continue to roll in—thank you founding members—we’ll continue to publish 12-plus pages of local content while we climb Mt. Periodical Permit.

What is a membership to the Woodinville Weekly? What a great question and I’m glad I asked. Your Woodinville Weekly Membership is more than just a newspaper subscription delivered to your mailbox. It’s a news experience that begins on page one and ends when your community newspaper has brought something of value to your daily life.

Our value proposition isn’t based on us telling you what’s important; it’s built on you, as a reader, and the things that bring value to your life, family, and community. But we need readership data to accomplish this. (See page 12 ... no seriously; it’s ok to look, the survey is there).

A Woodinville Weekly membership is priced at an affordable $29.99 a year. Your membership includes 52 weekly issues of your hometown newspaper full of great content, photos, community stories, events, and even advertisements.

As a member, you’ll also receive the Valley View (as a B section) once a month, which better connects the communities of Duvall and Carnation with the big-city of Woodinville. And vice-versa. Essentially, it’s two newspapers for the price of one. Best deal in town.

More than a quarter-century has passed since the city of Woodinville was incorporated. Before that, it was the community of Woodinville, town boundaries defined as much by post office addresses as anything.

The decisions in the early ’90s that kept Hollywood Hill and the northeast-end farmlands out of the nascent City of Your membership will also include unlimited digital access, a weekly email newsletter, and an e-edition, available days before the print paper hit homes.

Imagine how savvy you’ll appear over the holidays when you’re opening up the dialogue on an issue that hasn’t even hit shelves yet. Position yourself properly and it’ll be evident that you’ve got the cure for FOMO (fear of missing out) once it begins to spread.

As a member, you’ll also have access to local deals and offers that non-members won’t have access to, including member-only events, which we expect to hold several times a year, including our first event next Thursday, Nov. 14 at Chateau Lill.

We will host light finger foods, great conversation and three rounds of reader focus groups. You can find the event details on how to RSVP somewhere in this paper (no way am I making that mistake again). You also don’t have to be a member to attend. If you’re a business, we created a Small Business Membership to meet your needs.

If you currently carry The Weekly (and Valley View) at the newsstand, we have options for you to continue to provide a safe place for your customers to buy your products and services while catching up on their community news. If you already advertise with us, we’ll continue to connect readers with your products and services and grow your brand.

These memberships carry privileges that only local business has access to. If we had the budget, I would cue Telly Savalas or Wesley Snipes to give the pitch.

How many memberships does the paper need to make it? Another great question that I’m glad I asked.

To remain as the city of Woodinville’s legal paper of record, we’ll need roughly 2,000 members. This is based on the largest circulated competitor in the market, which is not locally owned and does not provide any local jobs in Woodinville. This number may also be based on the number of readers specific in the 98072 zip code, so let’s get busy.

With only four issues remaining, including this one, we’re off to a great start with roughly 100 members in just a few days.

Again, all we’re asking is those that support their local newspaper and want to see journalism jobs brought back to Woodinville to join us as foundational members for just $29.99 a year.

It won’t hurt our feelings if you choose to not join, but it will mean all the difference if you do.

Let’s reinvest in journalism together. Right here in Woodinville.

Eric LaFontaine


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Tagged under: Letter to the Editor