By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

From the publisher: Major changes evolving for the News-Register

##News-Register President and Publisher Jeb Bladine
##News-Register President and Publisher Jeb Bladine

What has already changed?

Last year The New York Times reported: “Overall, 2,500 newspapers in the United States — a quarter of them — have closed since 2005. The country is set up to lose one-third of its newspapers by 2025. And in many places, the surviving local media outlets have made major cuts to staff and circulation.”

It’s true. In recent years, chain ownerships have acquired surviving community newspapers in bargain sales; attained payback by eliminating management and most reporting staff; and will, when finances dictate, discard many of them onto the scrapheap of journalism history.

Why? Because the traditional business model for newspapers is broken.

That model, until 30 years ago, was revenue from advertising sales (80 percent) and subscription sales (20 percent). Local advertising dollars slowly, then more rapidly, moved to the Internet, social media, direct mail, cable television and ad-only publications. The result, over the past eight years, was a 40-50 percent reduction in advertising revenue.

Entire categories of advertising previously delivered in the newspaper business have mostly disappeared: department store, grocery, automotive, real estate, furniture and others. Those losses, thankfully, have been partially offset by some popular special newspaper sections that have been supported by the local business community.

Subscription sales remained relatively stable, but that portion of newspaper revenues has been sliced and diced by ever-increasing costs of production. And as print publications shrank, closed or converted to digital, our Oregon Lithoprint printing division experienced 30 percent reductions in sales. We have maintained a news/editorial staff larger than most community newspapers in the region.


What’s happening with the N-R?

Reducing Costs:

Efforts to mend that broken business model, if possible, will take time. Meanwhile, cost-cutting measures have been launched in early 2024. Those changes — to be more fully described in upcoming reports — include:

* Reduced print publication: We have eliminated one of our twice-weekly printed publications, reducing costs for production-printing-mailing and opening up press time for outside print clients.

* Smaller newspaper page size: We reduced our newspaper page size by 25 percent, continuing a 100-year trend in page-size reduction and doubling the page-count for single-section press capacity. Readers have responded that the newspaper is easier to hold and read through.

* Increased digital publication: We expanded to three digital “e-editions” of the newspaper each week, allowing distribution of more information in formal newspaper format than would be possible in print.


Enhancing Revenue:

Without increased revenue, newspapers as we’ve known them will continue to disappear. Here are some related initiatives that are evolving for the News-Register:

* Lower advertising rates: Reduced print advertising rates so more small businesses can access our marketing capabilities with plans that fit within their budgets.

* More digital advertising: Increasing advertising revenue on by generating more traffic to the website.

* Premium subscriber offers: Opportunities for newspaper subscribers to gain special benefits for paying a premium subscription price.

* Donation opportunities: Invitations, through a nonprofit organization, for readers and others to make tax-deductible contributions toward maintenance of public-service news reporting programs.

* “Community Partner” program expansion: New efforts to expand the newspaper’s “Community Partner” program, including direct communications to newspaper subscribers from participating advertisers.


The bottom line

When all the dust settles on the launch of these initiatives and others, there remains one challenging set of realities:

* Advertising sales, the life-blood of newspapers, have dropped below levels needed to sustain a high-quality community newspaper. Our challenge is to regain lost advertising revenue through good business practices, and retain the level of community journalism that in 2023 was judged best among all of Oregon’s multi-weekly newspapers.

* Reader engagement with local advertisers has dropped off as people do more online purchasing. Our challenge is to convince readers that in order to retain their quality community newspaper, they need to acknowledge — and commercially engage — local businesses in response to their newspaper advertising messages.

* Independent local ownership of community newspapers is severely threatened nationwide. Our challenge is to build a new business model that can sustain local ownership and operation of the News-Register — whether through continuation of the current 96-year family ownership, or perhaps through community-based nonprofit ownership.

As promised, more information will follow. Meanwhile, don’t forget: Shop Local!

Jeb Bladine can be reached at or 503-687-1223.



Long live the News Register!

Easy Writer

One of the most talented newsrooms in the state.


Locally owned independent papers like our News Register are vital to our community and a foundation for democracy. The News Register deserves full community support while it adapts to the realities of the current situation.

Bill B

Let me preface by saying I'm not sure of the costs associated with publishing the e-edition. Maybe it's just the boomer in me, but I've never read the e-edition. I either read the content on or the paper. I'd do away with it as well as the Tuesday paper. Would be nice to see more timely content online between published editions though.


Local Businesses are very important because it keeps money within the local economy, compared to sending the majority of money outside the area.

I'm glad we have the News Register...



So is it safe to assume our rates will decrease since we will only be getting half of what we are paying for when you go down to only one newspaper a week?


Actually... we'll all be getting THREE papers a week... which means more frequent reporting of news. They've been pretty transparent about why they're making the changes. This community is very blessed to have an independent award-winning, nationally recognized, local paper.

Ossie Bladine

Loretta, Subscription prices will remain the same with the new production and delivery schedule. While dropping down to one printed edition a week, the N-R staff will produce three total issues a week and have a steadier flow of news, sports and features published on this site. Our once-weekly newspaper will include more pages than either of the current print issues, so those who choose not to consume the digital-only content will still be receiving a similar amount of local news and content overall. To steal from a fellow Oregon newspaper publisher who went through similar changes, "We're not providing less, we're just changing the delivery method."

Ossie Bladine
N-R Asst. Publisher


I understand this change and I don’t actually mind the overall size of the paper being smaller but using smaller print does not work for me. It’s too hard to read and especially disappointing is the reduced size of the puzzles making them nearly impossible for me to do. That would be te reason why I may at some point need to drop our subscription. Not a fan of reading them online so that’s not a selling point for me. Just wanted you to have some feedback if you are interested.

Racheal Winter

Thanks for your feedback, Loretta. The type style we use for our articles hasn't changed; it's the same size and font as always. The columns of text are wider, though, so perhaps that's why it looks a little different. Our crosswords are also publishing at about the same size as before, and we've added a few new puzzles, too.

Racheal Winter
N-R Associate Editor


Racheal, can you give some insight into the choice of 2 of the 3 crossword puzzles you kept? The "King" puzzle was my favorite, in part because I had a decent chance of getting most of the answers! I'd love to see it returned to the paper! Also, with regard to the size of the ANSWERS to the crossword puzzles, these do appear to be smaller than before... so much so that it's hard to read. (Or is this just my old eyes fooling me?). Keep up the good work NR! I'm rooting for you!


Our newspaper is crucial for the community IMO. No where else in the PNW have I seen a paper report on just local news. We had one where I lived in WA, but the paper sold to a paper outside the upper valley, and … oops! … there went local news, flushed down the proverbial toilet.
In the paper’s efforts to swim to the life raft, they are trying out various things, absolutely makes sense. And what a stupendous effort! the e-paper is slick! Some things I don’t like, such as a movie review and a movie star column. I don’t want to read other peoples’ opinions on what movies are worth watching — I’ll make up my own mind, and I don’t want to know what a Hollywood movie star eats for breakfast or whom they’re dating.
Instead, I’d like to read about local peoples’ lives, like a man I met last weekend. His family cleared the land for Linfield College and Baker streets were named after the family. He lives in Corvallis now. Also, there was a movie review of the Osage murders … not a review by a local … and we have an Osage woman living right here in Mac and her family went through that era. She should have been interviewed. She’s known to the newspaper, so it slipped through the cracks.
The religious column IMO is not scholarly, it’s same-o Roman podium rhetoric (without investigation into facts). And we don’t hear from Buddhists, Jews, or Muslims. This is 2024, time to exercise tolerance for ‘others’.
So, the paper needs to survive, they’re trying out new things - IMO some good some ok some eh. I’ll watch to see how it evolves. I for one am in for the long-haul.


Really like the new format and additional content of 3 days a week, also just signed up for the Press Club.

Racheal Winter

CubFan: The King Crossword is back in the Friday paper, as you've probably noticed. Now, if we could only read the solutions! We'll work on printing them at a larger size in upcoming editions. Thanks for your thoughts and support.

Racheal Winter
N-R Associate Editor


Thanks so much Rachael!

Local Yokel

Did they eliminate the "Arrests and Citations" portion of the paper?

Ossie Bladine

Local, no we didn't, just have had some staffing absences that caused a few issues of delay. We had a batch in Wednesday's e-edition and will continue to get caught up with a long list in Friday's issue.

Web Design and Web Development by Buildable