The Cascadia Weekly Has Ceased Publication
Letter from the publisher
Wednesday, December 22, 2021
Dear Cascadia Weekly readers:
Given the current status of the news industry, letters like this from a publication’s owner can often appear ominous, both for a publication’s staff and for its loyal readership. I’m hoping this one will prove less traumatic because this letter is both celebration and optimism.
Today marks the last edition of the Cascadia Weekly, an independent newspaper that has served up a mix of local events, news and opinion since 2006. Under the leadership of its editor, Tim Johnson, the Weekly has provided an important local voice and community forum for 15 years. The Weekly has served its community well.
Last year, changing economics related to the pandemic and longer-standing media business trends forced us to reassess the Weekly’s local role. After much research and many conversations, it became clear that, rather than shutter an independent news voice, we had an opportunity to greatly enhance local news coverage by moving on from the Cascadia Weekly and creating an entirely new, more robust daily publication.
Buoyed by community support, we forged ahead. We have hired a strong team of journalists who have been working hard to create a state-of-the art daily digital and print weekly newspaper we will launch next month—the Cascadia Daily News.
The Cascadia Daily News will provide enterprising coverage of breaking news, politics, features, business, sports, and other matters to complement the strong coverage of arts and entertainment long provided by the Cascadia Weekly.
This new venture required a new focus, new strategies and new leadership. To guide the newsroom, we recruited and hired longtime Bellingham resident Ron Judd, a Puget Sound native, Western Washington University alum, part-time historian and three-decade veteran of The Seattle Times. Working since September, Ron has assembled an adept news team, a mix of young, innovative journalists and seasoned reporters, to create a newspaper of which residents of Bellingham, Whatcom, Skagit, and Island counties can be proud to call their own.
Under his guidance, Cascadia Daily News will carry forward the tradition of independent, local journalism, something I have been proud to financially support for the past 15 years. The Cascadia Daily News will fulfill a community role deeply rooted in traditions of American journalism: serving as a watchdog on local institutions and governments, giving voice to the voiceless, and building and sustaining the critical connective tissue of our community.
The Cascadia region has been my family’s home for four generations. As a lifelong, voracious newspaper reader, I see a strong local publication as essential to my longstanding desire to see this region continue to grow and preserve its own, unique center of economic, cultural, educational, and political leadership.
This new project would not be possible without the foundation built by the Cascadia Weekly’s staff, including especially Amy Kepferle and Carey Ross, its many contributors, and most important, you, its readers. We are grateful to everyone who has supported the Weekly for so many years. I would like to express my particular thanks to the Cascadia Weekly’s longtime editor, Tim Johnson. It is my sincere wish for Tim’s continued success in all his future endeavors.
My hope is that the Cascadia Daily News—which has my full, enthusiastic support, but will operate with complete editorial independence—will proudly step forward not only to inform and to entertain but also to provide civic hope and bring light to the soul of our community.
It’s a lot to ask, and no future is guaranteed. But given today’s challenges, I believe it is vital to reach forward rather than slink back.
Please join me in thanking all who have shared that spirit and that goal on these pages in the past and all who will continue that quest in the pages of the Cascadia Daily News. Their success will depend on the support of all of us.
—David R. Syre, Publisher