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Since its launch on Feb. 9, 2001, the Portland Tribune has been a journalism leader in the community.


On Monday, a new era began.

The Tribune was started at a time when many critics said print journalism was entering an era of decline from which the industry would not escape due to the explosion of the Web as a communication and information tool.

The Tribune consistently has defied those readership trends and criticisms by providing print and Web journalism that robustly and increasingly serves Portland in ways that other media - including the state's 158-year-old daily newspaper - do not.

The Portland Tribune and its sister suburban publications operated by Community Newspapers Inc. were the first to launch a local online daily newspaper with stories and time trackers that are updated by the minute throughout the day.

We were the first to identify sustainability as the future of our communities and worthy of its own major publication: Sustainable Life. We were the first to understand that great journalism isn't just about what someone did or said today or yesterday, but also about where we are headed tomorrow.

That's why we launched our Rethinking Portland special editions and regular coverage to examine the city's future emerging needs and solutions.

As a newspaper company, we have been the most prominent - and sometimes the only media company - to be engaged consistently in business, civic and community leadership on important matters such as education, economic development, land use, literacy and transportation solutions.

All the while, the Portland Tribune's journalists have been the region's best: fair, accurate, trusted, thorough and great storytellers, our readers tell us.

The Portland Tribune now enters its next phase of innovative, cutting-edge journalism as the newspaper launches a more complete daily online newspaper that will be accompanied by a single weekly print edition to be published each Thursday.

In making this change, we achieve several important things. We fulfill what hundreds, if not thousands, of Portland-area residents have consistently asked us to do by going daily.

We become even more environmentally sensitive by launching the nation's most sustainable daily newspaper in America's most sustainable community.

We act in recognition of current U.S. economics, which are leading the nation toward recession with not only higher fuel and food prices, but also an impending shortage of paper products such as newsprint.

Most importantly, we do something else. We give Portland-area residents what they definitely deserve: a better daily newspaper.

We will do so at our Web site - www.portlandtribune.com.

This means your best source of local news - on the Web and in print - just got better as we expand breaking coverage of Portland and regional news; provide sports and community-interest columns by Dwight Jaynes and Phil Stanford four days a week; add puzzles to our print edition and interactive puzzles to our Web site; provide editorials throughout the week; and publish more human interest features from Portland and the region.

Through our collaboration with media partners KPAM (860 AM), KPTV (12) and Reuters international wire service, we will give you even more.

Along the way, read us both on the Web and in print on Thursdays.

Innovation is not without risk and change.

In moving to a once a week print newspaper and online daily, we will employ fewer people in some departments.

We fully expect that there will be those who will criticize our strategy. Through the years, we have routinely been scorned by some, including bloggers who are prone to vitriolic negativity. Other comments may come from competitors such as Willamette Week - which makes a practice of throwing stones at us and others, but rarely praise.

Last October, our company launched a strategic plan that called for doubling readership of our 18 print newspapers over the next three to five years. At the same time, we called for rapid Web growth and investments and a media balance that equally utilized Web and print distribution.

In an era of advancing sustainability and increased Web innovation, we are pleased to announce the advent of an even earlier next round of innovative journalism with a continued commitment to grow and invest in the readership of print journalism.

And to those who question our future, let me say that there will always be a place for journalists - great storytellers, who are trusted and relevant, and businesses like ours that are committed to our clients, readers and the future of the communities that we serve.

Join us each day at www.portlandtribune.com and each Thursday at more than 2,400 locations and green newsstands around Portland.

After all, it is your town and it is your paper - the Portland Tribune - now daily.

- Steve Clark, Portland Tribune President

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