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COURIER editor leaves the COURIER after 25 years

by Peter Weinberger | pweinberger@claremont-courier.com

It is with sadness that I report that former longtime editor and employee, Kathryn Dunn, no longer works for the COURIER. As most of you know, Kathryn was a key reason for the COURIER’s success over the years. However, the pandemic that has raged since March continues to make publishing very difficult on a variety of fronts.

As I’ve mentioned, COURIER revenue has dropped about 36 percent this year with no real end in sight. We have also continued the expensive process of going nonprofit, while developing a state-of-the-art website. This will dramatically reshape the future of our independent business. But with a significant drop in revenue, the process must be accomplished with fewer staff for now.

I’ve worked with Kathryn for the past 15 years, going back to the days when I commuted from Charlotte, NC to Claremont. Once I moved back here, it became clear that she was the person managing the newspaper, so I promoted her to managing editor. She had a unique skill set of content editing and page design. And Kathryn ranks number three on the all-time list of knowledgeable people on Claremont—right behind Martin Weinberger and Judy Wright—that’s good company!

The Weinbergers also don’t hire just anyone as editor of our family newspaper. Kathryn was literally the only person I considered for the editor job. She grew into it with years of publishing experience. In the COURIER’s 112-year history, Kathryn and I were the only people who split the title of editor and publisher. We did this because she earned the job—and that’s why I will again assume the role of editor and publisher.

It is crucial to me that people understand the important role that Kathryn played at the COURIER. She’s been largely responsible for the look and content of the newspaper for over a decade. It’s no wonder the COURIER was regularly honored by the California News Publishers Association (CNPA). And that included best community newspaper three times. Having Kathryn in the editor’s seat helped me immensely to devote time to developing our website, producing video coverage and creating business marketing. Working together is one key reason why the COURIER remained robust in content and financially healthy, even as the news industry was shrinking all around us.

I know Kathryn will be successful in anything she sets her sights on. She is simply too smart and hard working for any other outcome. I also hope she gets a chance to spend more time with her family, without the pressure of COURIER newspaper production on her plate.

For me, this has been one of the most difficult decisions I’ve made in my 45-year publishing career. But I also remain committed to the long-term health of the COURIER. And let me assure all of our readers that the COURIER newspaper, like the COURIER business, is going through changes but NOT going out of business. We are simply experiencing difficult times because of the pandemic, like many of you, coupled with the continued decline of the local news industry. If you are concerned, the best way to help is by subscribing or making a donation. We can get through this together. But no one said this was going to be easy.

I wish Kathryn only the best of luck and happiness.

Letters, letters and more letters

Even by election standards we have received a lot of letters recently. As I said in an earlier column, breaking the city into districts has really helped increase the interest in our local elections. There are more people running for office, causing a domino effect of interest throughout the city. And that’s a good thing. We have one more edition next week to publish election-related letters, so that’s your deadline. For the past few weeks, we have recieved a record number of letters. Not all will make the print edition and will go online only.

Your ballot

For those of you who have voted already—have you noticed any wrongdoing or delivery issues? All I know is that I voted by mail and within 48 hours I received an email stating that my ballot had been received and would be counted. I realize the system has not worked efficiently for everyone, but locally the surge of early voting has been well managed. If you have any questions, check out this website—www.sos.ca.gov/elections/election-2020/—for more information.

 

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