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Publisher’s Notebook: Getting to know the community

Starting to connect the dots


Published on February 12, 2018 10:31AM

Husband Kerry and springer spaniels Brutus and Brody on a December walk on the beach.

Kari Borgen

Husband Kerry and springer spaniels Brutus and Brody on a December walk on the beach.

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In 2015, daughter Laura Borgen (art at left) and AVA artist in residence Stirling Gorsuch (art at right) shared gallery space at OSU.

Kari Borgen

In 2015, daughter Laura Borgen (art at left) and AVA artist in residence Stirling Gorsuch (art at right) shared gallery space at OSU.

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Kari Borgen

Kari Borgen

Connect the dots.

It’s a phrase I’ve used often when describing how what appears to be random, unrelated information creates a complete picture when connected.

I joined the Daily Astorian as publisher on Dec. 1, and had only ever visited here once before. However, my husband and I have always vacationed on the central Oregon coast and hoped to someday move to the ocean. Since we’ve been here, we find that we have connections we hadn’t expected.

The office coordinator at The Baker City Herald, my last newspaper, was born and raised here. Our Daily Astorian classified representative, Danielle Fisher, graduated from Baker High School, as did her mother, Sharon, who was my sister’s classmate.

We sold our old boat to a man from Portland who moored it at Hammond. (Yes, we wish we still had that boat now.) A couple we met in Seaside has a friend who recently bought a house near my husband’s family ranch in Baker County. A Daily Astorian letter writer shared that she also graduated from Baker High School.

Of course, many I’ve met have business or professional connections in common. It’s not a small state, but we all get around.

Oregon newspaper circles are small, and former Daily Astorian managing editor Patrick Webb and I had served on the Associated Press News Executives board at the same time. When I was cleaning out my desk drawers at the Baker City Herald to move here, I found a postcard Patrick sent years ago of the Astoria Column. Ironic that the picture had stayed in my desk drawer until then.

A friend and fellow publisher in Crescent City and Brookings retired last year, and sent me a book — Peter Stark’s “Astoria.” That was months before I applied for this position. Who knew?

On opening an issue of Coast Weekend last month, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Stirling Gorsuch had been chosen as the Astoria Visual Arts artist in residence. Stirling shared senior art show space with my daughter Laura, a fellow Oregon State University fine arts grad.

Perhaps most unexpected, in reviewing a Daily Astorian map of voting precincts in a recent issue, I was stunned to see a “Chadwell” voting precinct. Chadwell is my maiden name, and not a very common one. My dad can’t remember any family or connections to Clatsop County. But certainly my new home and my genealogy are somehow tied together in a way I can’t yet explain.

Taken in addition to the welcome from people I’ve met here, the comfortable small-town vibe and familiar daily newspaper routines, the random dots have become lines connecting us to our new home.

Daily newspaper routines

What happens within our walls at The Daily Astorian offices on Exchange Street is a mystery to many of our readers. Most people know that we have reporters and editors and a team that runs the printing press. Plus, the office staff who you call for a subscription or classified ad. And, of course, our business partners who deliver the newspaper to you — our carriers. As editor Jim Van Nostrand pointed out last week, between staff, correspondents and carriers we provide work for more than 80 people here.

What do they all do? I’ll use this column to share some fun facts every month.

Design is outsourced — to us

The ad design team for the EO Media Group, serving 10 newspapers, is located here in Astoria.

Information for an ad to be published in John Day, for example, is sent to our team in Astoria, which creates it and sends it back to be composed with their news pages and printed. It’s our good fortune to have a talented group of designers employed here to share.

But it’s not just us ...

The Daily Astorian press and mailroom crew prints and assembles nine weekly or bi-weekly and two monthly newspapers in addition to The Daily Astorian five days a week.

... it’s you ...

Hundreds of our subscribers read The Daily Astorian — all of it (news, advertising, classifieds, crosswords) — without newsprint. Their subscription is for access to the e-edition and website, available 24x7 online. It’s our fastest-growing subscriber segment.

... and me

One of the first questions I get when I introduce myself as publisher is “What does a publisher do?” My role here at the Daily A is publisher and revenue director. In a nutshell, I’m the general manager and sales director.

As a business, our goals are to create professional, credible journalism and information products that reflect our community values and interests. When we do that, we gain more readers and subscribers. More readers buy more products from our advertisers. Advertisers have more money to buy more advertising to reach more customers. We all prosper.

So, the better I know our community and local businesses, the better I’m able to make all of those things happen. Have ideas on how you think we can improve? Let me know —


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