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How 'local' is local? You decide

In her column two weeks ago, Editor Nancy Townsley noted that Oregon Public Broadcasting devoted part of a recent “Think Out Loud” radio show to the newspaper war in Forest Grove.

Because no one from the Forest Grove Leader came on the show, it was a pretty one-sided conversation, but after the broadcast, the Leader’s advertising manager, Monica Butler, posted this comment on OPB’s website:

“For the record, the News Times is owned by the Pamplin Media Group. This is clearly not a locally owned company, contrary to the belief of many within the community.”

We’re not sure what prompted Butler’s comment, but in case there is any confusion, here are the facts. Ownership of the News-Times has changed hands many times in its 126-year-history. Most of the owners were based in Washington County, but at one time the paper was owned by the Register Guard, in Eugene. The current owner is Robert Pamplin, who owns the Portland-based Pamplin Media Group, a collection of 18 newspapers and two radio stations, all in the Portland areas. Pamplin, who lives in Lake Oswego, owns not only the paper, but our building in Forest Grove, meaning he pays property taxes and various business fees. That seems pretty local to us.

The Forest Grove Leader is an edition of The Oregonian, which, like the Hillsboro Argus, is owned by Advance Publications, which owns more than three dozen newspapers and a dozen business journals across the country and more than two dozen national magazines. It is based in New Jersey.