Hemig: The future looks great at The Union | TheUnion.com

Hemig: The future looks great at The Union

Jim Hemig Publisher The Union
John Hart/jhart@theunion.com | The Union

What a great year!

The staff at The Union has really enjoyed celebrating the newspaper’s 150 years of bringing news, information and entertainment to western Nevada County.

Throughout the entire year, The Union has shared 150th anniversary stories and photos that were packaged and published the last Saturday of each month, including most of the old Union page-one logos.

You hold in your hands the last 150th edition. We hope you have enjoyed the year as much as we have enjoyed producing the content.

With such large audience reach The Union has a great responsibility to our community. We pledge to continue to provide the most accurate and timely news and information, the best source for entertainment and events and provide a well-balanced and thoughtful opinion page.

The stories and photos provided readers an amazing summary of events in our community over the last 150 years, including everything from the Nisenan, our first residents, through the farming, mining, tech industry and housing developments. The 2014 150th Anniversary content was even assembled into a gloss-covered magazine to be held on to for posterity.

We also hosted several memorable events this year. The open house at The Union drew a crowd of nearly 500 people. And The Union-produced documentary “Golden Stories of Our Past” is playing at the Del Oro on Nov. 5 and is on track to sell out. Tickets are $15 for subscribers and $18 for non-subscribers. Price includes the movie, hors d’oeuvres, a swag bag, 150th anniversary magazine and two beer or wine tasting tickets. Tickets can be bought in advance by stopping by The Union office at 464 Sutton Way in Grass Valley or bought at the door, if the event is not sold out.

The Union has weathered many years and many challenges. The Union has published through the Civil War, the early farming and mining era, the ups and downs of the timber industry, both world wars, the Great Depression, Prohibition, the dot-com bust, the population growth and our recent recession. Through all of these the historical events The Union continued publishing for the communities around Grass Valley and Nevada City.

The Union also had competition not only from other newspapers, but from the young upstarts of radio, television and even this new fad — tongue firmly placed in cheek — called the Internet.

The Union has been a constant over all these years. But what about going forward? We’ve spent the year looking back at all that’s happened in our community. What does The Union’s future look like?

I’m happy to say the printed version of The Union has a strong future. Contrary to what some may say, your newspaper still reaches more people than any other form of media in our community. Even comparing to the Internet, The Union’s print stories are read by more people than anything else published. The current newspaper readership is nearly 30,000 readers. That is more than half of our part of the county.

But if you add the reach the Internet provides, The Union is stronger now than ever before. Our website, TheUnion.com, has seen up to 10,000 unique web viewers and 30,000 page views per day. The Union’s Facebook page now has likes from 4,700 people, up from 3,700 at the beginning of the year. Want to join the fun on Facebook? Like us on our page at https://www.facebook.com/theuniondotcom.

Combine all of this and The Union’s audience is well over 40,000 people per day.

With such a large audience reach The Union has a great responsibility to our community. We pledge to continue to provide the most accurate and timely news and information, the best source for entertainment and events and provide a well-balanced and thoughtful opinion page.

During our recent readership survey, readers told us they most favored stories related to government, home and garden, entertainment, police and fire, business, food, environment, outdoors and health and fitness. Based on this feedback, we plan to continue the Money Monday, Healthy Tuesday, Farm-to-Table Wednesday, Prospector Entertainment Guide, Home & Garden Saturday and a strong editorial opinion page in 2015 and beyond. Additional new content in 2015 will include a more focused effort on senior issues, holistic medicine and historical stories and photos.

If you have additional ideas on stories you’d like to see in The Union, let us know. The team at The Union enjoyed our 150th year and we look forward to many more to come. We hope you’ll join us moving forward, whether in print, online or in social media.

To contact Publisher Jim Hemig, email jhemig@theunion.com or call 530-477-4299.

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