Coastside News Group Acquires the Pacifica Tribune

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Coastside News Group, Inc. (CNGI) announced today it will begin publishing the Pacifica Tribune starting the week of Oct. 18. According to CEO Rich Klein, “We will expand quality news coverage in Pacifica, in print and online. We will continue to expand our award-winning coverage in Half Moon Bay. The synergies between these adjacent coastal communities will help us fulfill our primary mission to support and expand quality local journalism on the San Mateo Coast.” In making the announcement, he noted that the completion of the Devil’s Slide tunnels seven years ago has helped bring the two communities closer together.

CNGI is a California Benefit Corporation formed three years ago to assume publication of the Half Moon Bay Review from its former Arizona-based owner. CNGI has been publishing “Pacifica” magazine in Pacifica for many years. That magazine was recently combined with the Half Moon Bay magazine and renamed On the Coastside. Pacifica journalism advocates, led by Pete Shoemaker, approached CNGI last year to suggest expanding its role to include publication of the struggling Pacifica Tribune. Pacifica resident Peter Loeb believes “the Pacifica group is very excited by this and looks forward to a revitalized Tribune with increased local coverage and advertising, to support a variety of community news and viewpoints.”

The Pacifica paper was founded in the 1930s under the name Coastside Tribune. The name changed to Pacifica Tribune in 1959, soon after Pacifica was first incorporated as a city. The Tribune had been owned by Sherman R. Frederick for the last five years. Frederick says, “I am happy to turn over the reins of the Tribune to an award-winning local group who has years of experience in journalism.”

A core objective of Frederick’s Battle Born Media is to produce intensely local journalism. When he acquired the Tribune from Digital First Media, the newspaper was spiraling down. “We righted the expense side of the Tribune ship and put it on a path to sustainability,” Frederick said. “Hooking up with Half Moon Bay puts Pacifica on a wonderful path to maintain a local newspaper in Pacifica.”

“I enjoyed my time in Pacifica and look forward to watching it thrive under this new Coastside strategy,” said Frederick. Battle Born Media owns and operates six weekly newspapers in Marin County and five weekly newspapers in Rural Northern Nevada.

CNGI will be expanding its board of directors and investors to include Pacifica residents. It will also be establishing a Pacifica-based editorial advisory board to assist in guiding the direction of the paper. Both news sources will be overseen by experienced CNGI publisher Debra Hershon and long-time Editorial Director Clay Lambert.

Hershon is “excited about this new opportunity for our readers and advertisers”.

The expanded board of directors will continue to delegate all editorial control to the professional editorial staff. Coastside News Group will provide funding to augment the editorial staff and create long-term sustainable support for local journalism on the Coast.

“It is nothing less than thrilling to be adding journalists and reinvigorating local journalism on the California coast at a time when so many news organizations across the country are shedding jobs and succumbing to absentee ownership,” Lambert said. “I’m honored to play a part in this endeavor.”

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