I believe in supporting journalism and local media. One reason why is because I worked on the publishing team of a nonprofit media group based at Stanford University for seven years, with my last role being the publishing and marketing manager⏤I focused most of my time on advertising, events, and circulation (subscriptions).
My overall responsibility was to help the media group sustain itself with enough earned revenue to support its operations because the university provided no financial support. You could say I have more insight into the financial aspects of publishing than the average Woodinville Weekly reader.
I do like some of the changes the new ownership has implemented⏤the standardization of column layouts and the use of section headers, to name a few. Other areas could still be improved, like using a serif font for better readability and reining in the wild kerning found on some pages.
With that backstory in mind, I've read recent weeks of the Opinion and Letters to the Editor sections with great interest.
As we know, the newspaper has been printing for 44 years. It's also widely known that resistance to change is universal, so I was surprised to see that the new Woodinville Weekly Publisher, Eric LaFontaine, has used a fairly aggressive tone and approach in his opinion pieces when discussing changes coming to the newspaper. And I was disappointed to read his latest piece, "Transparency. Trust. News.," in which he calls out "Not Worth the Annual Fee" author Mr. Huddleston by name several times.
Those call-outs were unnecessary and hostile, and I have a feeling they hurt the newspaper's goal of converting subscribers rather than helping it; I was planning to become a charter subscriber but now I'm reconsidering. I recommend the publisher uses a different tone to (re)build trust with the Woodinville Weekly's audience.