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Pamplin Media Group launches new Hillsboro newspaper

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

Mark Garber, president of the Portland Tribune and Community Newspapers, said the paper initially would 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., publishes a dozen Portland-area weekly newspapers. Its holdings already include five Washington County papers — the Forest Grove News-Times, the Beaverton Valley Times, The Times (serving Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood), the Sherwood Gazette and the Regal Courier in King City. The group also publishes the weekly Portland Tribune and weekly or twice-weekly newspapers in Lake Oswego, Gresham, West Linn, Clackamas, Oregon City, Sandy, Estacada and Columbia County. In addition, it publishes other 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 start-up paper, which will have an initial press run of 10,000 papers and be distributed for free.

Kevin Harden, managing editor of the Portland Tribune, Pamplin Media Group’s Web editor and former editor of the Valley Times, 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 might 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.”

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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