Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.

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The twice monthly joins family of Community Newspapers



Hillsboro residents will soon have a new source of local news. The Pamplin Media Group announced last week that it will launch the Hillsboro Tribune on Sept. 7.

Mark Garber, president of the Portland Tribune and Community Newspapers, said the paper initially will publish twice monthly and have a strong Web presence from the start.

“Hillsboro has always been the missing link in our company,” Garber said.

The Pamplin Media Group, which is locally owned by Robert Pamplin Jr. of Lake Oswego, publishes a dozen weekly papers in the metro area. Its holdings already include three Washington County papers — the Forest Grove News-Times, the Beaverton Valley Times and The Times (serving Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood). The group also publishes weekly or twice-weekly newspapers in Lake Oswego, Gresham, West Linn, Clackamas, Oregon City, Portland, Sandy, Estacada and Columbia County. In addition, it publishes five highly local monthly newspapers and owns two radio stations.

“Hillsboro is the geographic, political, cultural and economic center of Washington County,” Garber said. “We think its residents will welcome a local paper that reflects that.”

Garber tapped a team of veteran journalists to head the startup paper, which will have an initial press run of 10,000 papers and be distributed for free.

Kevin Harden, the former editor of the Valley Times and current editor of the Portland Tribune, will lead a news team that includes Jim Redden and Jennifer Anderson, a pair of longtime Portland Tribune reporters.

John Schrag, publisher of the News-Times, will oversee the Tribune’s business operations, working closely with advertising sales manager Harvey Berkey, formerly of the Hillsboro Argus.

Schrag, who will retain his role in Forest Grove, said many people may be surprised to hear the company is starting a newspaper at a time when the industry is struggling but, in reality, it makes good business sense.

“Many major metropolitan dailies are still really struggling,” he said. “But smaller weekly papers that have retained their community focus are doing fine. We plan to provide top-quality journalism in Hillsboro, and make money while doing it.”

The content of the newspaper will include general news, business news, arts and entertainment listings, obituaries, high school sports coverage and local advertising.

“We will provide a completely local news report, covering the types of topics that people expect from a community newspaper,” Garber said. “This type of news remains highly desirable in the electronic era — in fact, it’s the only type of news that will continue to attract viable newspaper audiences well into the future.”

Schrag, Harden and Garber all hope to move the Hillsboro Tribune to a weekly production schedule, but are starting slow.

“We want to see how readers and advertisers respond,” Garber said. “Community journalism is our core expertise, so we fully expect to succeed, just as we have done in the other communities we currently serve.”

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