An open letter to our readers, advertisers and the Historic Northeast community

From the Publisher of the Northeast News

On July 1, 1998, Pinnacle Communications LLC assumed ownership of The Northeast News with the mission of rekindling the once-strong news publication. The faded and aging brand was ready for its final curtain call and placement atop the dust-heap of Northeast history. And why not? The East-Sider, a similar community newspaper that was headquartered near 25th and Hardesty, had shuttered operations six months earlier. There was no reason to believe The Northeast News would be any different.

But fate has a way of changing trajectories. Less than a week passed before Norm Mason walked through our door, taking up residence in the editor’s chair along with Photo Editor Brad Finch, shepherding the paper’s return to Community Journalism after less than 90 days of ownership. The future was getting brighter despite the advertisers being angry their ads were removed from the front page and placed inside, just like any other real news outlet.

Through the years, a number of talented editors penned award-winning news pieces for Northeast News readers: Tracy Abeln, Dan Ascheman, Leslie Collins – now with the KC Business Journal – Mike Ekey, Joe Jarosz, Paul Thompson – now the Managing Editor of the Austin Texas Business Journal – Elizabeth Orosco and our present Managing Editor, Historic Northeast native Abby Hoover.

This week, 24 years after Michael Bushnell and Christine Adams took over ownership of The Northeast News, guiding it through some oft difficult times, The House of News will be operating under a non-profit corporation entitled Historic NorthEast Media Incorporated, HNE Media Inc. for short.

The mission of continuing the Community Journalism model will remain unchanged. That passion for bringing relevant news and information to our community, a largely underserved community we might add, will continue. Financially however, the new, non-profit status will allow our organization to seek grant and foundation funding set aside for non-profit journalism outlets, something we could not do before given our “for profit” status.

In fact, we look forward to actually expanding our reach and engagement by working with such non-profit journalism entities as Report for America and The Knight Foundation, two organizations that sponsor year-long contracts for young journalists to join the newsrooms of small community papers, allowing them to actually expand their news coverage ability in their respective communities.

As for our advertisers, paid ads will still be accepted with the exception of some paid political or campaign ads. We’ll still have our monthly non-profit sponsored content series with dedicated community partners that we look forward to expanding in the coming months.

We also look forward to establishing a Community Engagement Board, made up of residents from all of our Historic Northeast neighborhoods who can be a regular sounding board for our news coverage, while at the same time telling us about unique and often not covered news stories, the kind of stuff the “big guys” regularly pass up for more sensational “if it bleeds, it leads” news pieces.

As for the Publishers, Michael and Christine, we’ll still be around, but those roles will be changing, allowing for the expanded community engagement outlined above.

It’s been a helluva ride folks, covering some of the community’s happiest and saddest moments with a team that’s been first class from start to finish. 

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