Monday, August 17, 2009

Hippo moves into Claremont

File this under the entrepreneurial spirit section: According to a publisher's note in this week's edition of The Hippo, the parent company of the newspaper has started a new newspaper to serve Claremont and surrounding communities, in the wake of the demise of the Eagle Times: ["Newspaper adventure"].
The new newspaper is called The Compass. It started on July 23 and will start running weekly next week. Anyone interested in checking out some of the impressive samples, you can download them in PDF online: ["The Compass"].
This is the second or third newspaper company that has ventured into the murky newspaper waters of Claremont and vicinity. I believe the Valley News company said it was going to reach out to readers in the area, creating more content for them in its daily paper. Dan Kennedy also wrote about a former resident who was working on a Web-only news site for the area.
It's good to see some folks jump in to cover one of the state's smaller but more complicated cities. As I wrote here ["More newspaper problems in NH"], there are a lot of stories to be told in Claremont. There are even more in the surrounding area. In addition, it's a lot easier starting up a weekly than trying to make ends meet publishing a daily. Running a weekly can be done barebones [I know, I do it every day!] while using the power of the Web to present daily breaking news to the public. If you already have the infrastructure in place, like a printing press [or access to one, inexpensively], at least one decent sales person willing to work it, and an editor and reporter, to gather content, it isn't very hard to do. Throw in some submitted content to the mix, and you can make a go of it.
While the Hippo did abandon its Concord effort, the company's expansion is impressive, buying a depressed property in southern Maine and now, creating one for western New Hampshire, along with the Manch Express, Manch and Nashua versions of the Hippo, and its niche publications. While they probably aren't thinking about this, the next step would be for them to get their own printing press in order to shave off the cost of outsourcing the printing. Sure, there are other expenses to be had that might not make this such a good idea. But if you see all the things that are published on the Concord Monitor's printing presses, you'd understand my point. Who was it who said that the power of the press is available for those who own one?
Despite what the modernists say, print is not dead. It's just going through changes. And there is nothing like looking at a newspaper while it is in your hands! Here's hoping that the Hippo folks keep it going and best of luck to them and their ever-expanding newspaper empire.

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