If you’ve read the printed editions of The Chronicle this week, you’ve likely noticed that our newspaper is a bit heavier than many have become accustomed to in the past year.
That’s because effective this week, we have officially returned all three editions of The Chronicle to their pre-pandemic size, building on the earlier expansion of the weekend edition. We did so by bringing back the standalone sports section, two pages of cartoons in every edition and setting a minimum of 16 pages for our main news and opinion section.
Like most newspapers, The Chronicle chose to trim back its printed offerings in the face of COVID-19-inspired shutdowns imposed by Gov. Jay Inslee that dealt enormous blows to many of our advertisers, in some cases closing them down completely.
Eighteen months later, we’re inspired to see many of those same businesses returning to full strength. Their support for The Chronicle — and that of our growing number of subscribers — is allowing us to grow, including the addition of a new local sports reporter who will come on board later this month.
While readers and advertisers are the lifeblood of our business, there is one more individual who is deserving of our highest praise and appreciation. She’s among the biggest reasons we are able to return the newspaper to its former size today.
That person is Jenifer Lafromboise Falcon.
Few truly know what the former owner of The Chronicle did to keep her newspapers operational amid unprecedented challenges brought on by a shifting media landscape and the abrupt arrival of a pandemic.
Her personal investment in her staff at The Chronicle, The Reflector and the Nisqually Valley News was largely made behind the scenes, but it resulted in the survival of jobs for stellar employees we’re happy to still have at our newspapers today.
It would have been easy for Falcon to do what many other newspaper owners did during the pandemic: shut the doors, close the business and liquidate the assets.
She did the opposite.
She invested in the newspaper at an incredible expense to herself so that a community institution could survive to serve readers for decades to come.
The decision to reduce the size of the newspaper was among a series of choices that allowed The Chronicle and its sister publications to push through the first 18 months of the pandemic and land in the healthy state we find ourselves in today.
Falcon took up the mantle of her father, Richard Lafromboise, and her mother, Jeraldine “Jeri” Lafromboise, as the third member of her family to own the newspapers, and she did their legacies proud.
She performed in inspiring fashion in guiding her newspapers through the toughest times our industry has ever seen.
While the baton was passed to our family in January when we purchased the newspapers, we will never forget who handed it to us and how it got there.
CT Publishing has a bright future and will continue to grow with the support of our community.
We’re proud of what we have accomplished so far through the hard work of our employees and the consistent support of our advertisers and readers.
It feels important to note, though, that we would never have come this far without Jenifer Lafromboise Falcon, and we’re exceedingly grateful for her leadership and contributions.
Coralee Taylor is the co-owner and CEO of CT Publishing. Chad Taylor is co-owner and publisher for CT Publishing.