Where we rise and set
February 16, 2018
Soon, the Sun will shine brighter on Truckee.
Cheesy, I know. But true. The community has grown enough and is distinct enough to merit more focus than a paper and breaking news website can reach also trying to be all things around the north shore of Lake Tahoe.
This is hard to acknowledge, a change needed, and easy enough to put off in the up years for businesses like ours tied closely to the ebb and flow of the seasons, which last played out on cue in 2016, Goldilocks.
Since then, 2017 brought much too much and much too muddy, and then this winter, so far too little and too warm. But the skiing is much better than you might think, I discovered again this week stealing away for a few runs. I just had to choose my path more carefully.
Nothing like uncovered manzanita and rocks to narrow choices, concentrate the mind, sharpen those turns, still have fun.
It's not so different with the newspapers and other media around the lake. What's the right balance between print and digital means of delivering the news? Where are the papers best read and best supported by businesses reaching for their prospects and customers? How can we all be most effective and viable through leaner times as well as the bountiful ones? I mean the dailies, the weeklies, the monthlies, the shiny magazines as well as the online-only ventures.
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The Sun has run in various formats since its start in the late 1860s. It was a five-day-a-week paper between 2006 and 2009, a twice-weekly before and since then. But for the vast bulk of its history, up to 2003, it was a weekly.
After next Wednesday, the Sun will return to a weekly format, ceasing Wednesday publication to focus on the more popular Fridays. And starting Friday, March 2, we're planning to change the name to the Truckee Sun to reflect renewed emphasis on our core community.
Before the Sierra Sun, the paper was named the Truckee Tribune, the Truckee Republican and some other names lost to history, no doubt. The fleeting nature of mining made keeping track of newspapers and their titles difficult. They were always being sold, folded, started anew out of printing equipment stored in town between startups.
But what I think may prove the more important development will be our emphasis on online news coverage. Newspapers great and small have turned more and more to digital reporting to augment and perhaps eventually replace print expressions of the "paper."
The single greatest audience still can be found through the print paper, but online viewership is where we see the most growth. Overall readership, more than ever, swells beyond the limits of where the print edition is delivered.
We view online as where we can break the news and be up to the minute, and the Friday publication as where we can best explain in a larger context. At least that's how I'm seeing it.
The emergence of the Truckee Sun will come with an internal change only the most careful reader may notice. The Sun will join Nevada County Publishing Co., based in Grass Valley, and we think will have closer ties generally to Truckee's county seat, Nevada City. Well, one of the town's county seats. Placer County's seat is Auburn, a short drive down Highway 49 from Grass Valley.
The Tahoe Tribune, based in South Lake Tahoe, will extend around the lake in its coverage as the Sun focuses from Northstar and Squaw Valley north into town. We'll still pay attention to the lake's issues and recreational opportunities, of course, but Truckee will be the center of the universe for the Sun.
This is a message the community has been telling us for awhile now. We're listening.