Weekly Herald succumbs to industry trends
For more than 50 years, the free weekly newspaper delivered to the doorsteps and coffee shops of south Snohomish County has provided a way to find out what's going on in town, learn about interesting locals, exchange opinions on politics and get the scoop on neighborhood businesses.
The Weekly Herald's voice wasn't the only one in the community, but it rang loud and clear.
And now that voice is lost.
“It's a great newspaper, but we just couldn't make the revenue work,” said David Dadisman, the publisher of the Herald Co., which owns The Weekly Herald, The Daily Herald and The Herald Business Journal.
The Everett-based Herald Co., best known for publishing The Daily Herald, bought the weekly in 1996 under the name The Enterprise Newspapers. In 2009, the Enterprise, which at the time published four zoned editions covering six cities, consolidated into one edition covering four cities in an effort to cut costs amid ad revenue losses.
The name change came in 2011, when the paper added more lifestyle news, including Family Time and Your Health.
The first issue of The Enterprise rolled off the press on Sept. 24, 1958, with the goal of playing up the news in south Snohomish County's population centers: Lynnwood, Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace.
The newspaper's archives chronicle decades worth of hard news. There were murders. A front-page story on Aug. 3, 1966, reported on one of the most memorable — the murder of Frank J. Beaver, the Enterprise editor at the time, during a company barbecue. The issue that dominated 1996 was when Edmonds Community College President Thomas Nielsen was convicted of taking bribes.
But most of all, the stories of regular people gave a glimpse into the life of the community.
“All the baby boomers who grew up in the Edmonds School District are mourning the loss of the weekly, because The Enterprise was our paper,” said Daily Herald reporter Gale Fiege, who grew up in Mountlake Terrace. “The Enterprise cared about kids and wrote our stories.”
The newspaper has always been an important part of the community, said Tom Pearce, a former Enterprise editor.
“It really has been the source for local news in south Snohomish County,” he said. “To me, personally, it's disappointing (to hear about the closure) because I started in journalism at The Enterprise, and that's what spurred me to my career.”
Pearce, who lives in Brier, started at The Enterprise as a sports stringer in the 1970s, while he was still in high school. He later became editor and worked at the paper until 2001, when he joined Community Transit.
The paper filled a void in south Snohomish County, said Jim Haley, who was a reporter for The Daily Herald for 42 years. He lives in Edmonds.
“I think people will miss it.”