Locally Grown and the Nfld News have decided to make this press release public today.
A memo to the Nfld News staff from Ruth Huckstable, VP of Development for Huckstable Publishing Inc. and Weakstream Publications LLC, was inadvertantly placed on the News’ website earlier this week at:
A complete article will appear in Wednesday’s edition of the paper.
NORTHFIELD, MINN, Feb. 3 /FNnewswire/ — Griff Wigley will become publisher and editor of the Nfld News on Feb. 7, 2007. He will also be appointed director of the new print archives division of the parent family-owned publishing company.
Wigley, a 30-year resident of Northfield, has been a self-employed blogging coach and citizen journalism consultant the past six years. He’s a co-founder of Northfield Citizens Online, the local non-profit that runs Northfield.org. More recently, he’s been a co-host of Locally Grown, a popular citizen weblog and podcast that focuses on Northfield area issues and people.
Wigley, 57, replaces Stan Gott, who is retiring after publishing the newspaper during a one-and-one-half-week transition period. Huckstable said Wigley was selected from a regional field of qualified publisher candidates.
“It will take Griff quite a while to get up to speed since he has zero print experience,” Huckstable said, in making the announcement. “But his new-found enthusiasm for print over digital media will make up for that.”
“The newspaper industry is in a war with the forces of digital media and Griff has a deep understanding of Web 2.0,” Huckstable said. “If we’re going to defeat this E-enemy, we need an industry insider who knows their vulnerabilities.”
“The Nfld News has been getting heavier by the month for the past five years,” said Wigley. “It suddenly dawned on me that those ad inserts from Target, Menards, Walgreen’s, K-Mart, and Cub Foods had to be a Highway  to Heaven [$] for the company. I’ve been toiling in the digital trenches for the last 20 years and I have very little to show for it. It was time to go for the green.”
Wigley expressed pessimism for the future of digital media.
“To paraphrase Yogi Berra, nobody reads blogs, listens to podcasts, or watches YouTube videos anymore. There are too many of them. With so many citizens producing media instead of just consuming it, the internet is running out of an audience for all this new content. It’s a model that will soon collapse upon itself. I figured it was time to get out before I went down the e-toilet.”
“I wish the best to my Locally Grown colleagues, Ross Currier and Tracy Davis. They were great to work with but I have to admit, I’m looking forward to handing them their [digital] assets.”
Huckstable Publishing Inc. and Weakstream Publications LLC operate 14 publications located in nine southern Minnesota communities, as well as a central printing plant, Down-in-the-Valley Printing, located along Minnesota Highway 3 south in Northfield.