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>New name reflects evolution of local media

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The front page of this morning’s Register Citizen includes the announcement of a new name for the local organization – of which I serve as publisher – that publishes this newspaper and others in Northwest Connecticut and the Farmington Valley. (CLICK HERE for story.)

What does this mean for the average reader of The Register Citizen? In terms of changes to how the paper is run or what it contains, nothing, really. We continue to look for ways all the time to expand the amount and quality of local news and local sports content that we provide to readers seven mornings a week in print and 24/7 online.

The christening of “Foothills Media Group” is, however, a reflection of how we’ve adapted to changes in technology, changes in readers’ habits and lifestyles, and the changes our advertisers have had to make to adjust to both of those things.

Here’s an example of how quickly we have changed to adapt to these trends. Barely two years ago, we needed no local corporate “name.” We were The Register Citizen and the Foothills Trader. That’s it.

We saw a need and opportunity to help advertisers reach every home in Torrington – and a void in “positive” community news – and so we launched the weekly Good News About Torrington.

Then we took over management of the Thomaston Express, a weekly newspaper with decades of history in providing local news coverage for that town. It was a great fit for us, on the edge of The Register Citizen’s coverage area and also complementing the reach of the Foothills Trader.

As the Hartford Courant cut back significantly on local news coverage, and we noticed how well the weekly newspaper model was serving both readers and advertisers, we stepped up to launch The Granby News, which is mailed to every home in Granby and East Granby and ended up filling a huge void in local coverage in those communities.

In the meantime, RegisterCitizen.Com was re-launched, exploded in popularity and extended the daily newspaper’s household penetration in Northwest Connecticut far beyond the daily print edition and in a more dynamic, targeted format.

We partnered with the #1-trafficked Web site in the country, Yahoo!, for employment advertising and for the sale of Yahoo! home page advertising targeted directly to local Web site visitors and their viewing and spending habits.

We expanded into glossy-cover magazines, such as the twice-a-year events guide “Every Town Has a Green,” that offer readers and advertisers more shelf life than the daily newspaper.

We started offering advertisers full-color commercial printing and zip code-targeted delivery of glossy advertising fliers, at a fraction of the cost they would otherwise pay for postage alone.

And we found unique ways – such as LitchfieldCountyMom.Com and the quarterly magazine that accompanies it – to serve key demographics within our community with targeted formats that were unprecedented in this area.

Today we are announcing the launch of three new weekly newspapers – in the growing, under-served Farmington Valley towns of Canton, Avon and Simsbury. CLICK HERE for story.

In the coming weeks, we will be unveiling a dynamic online presence for these new weeklies and our existing ones. And we’ll be launching FoothillsTrader.Com, extending our popular regional shopper brand onto the Web.

That’s why, in a nutshell, that “The Register Citizen and the Foothills Trader” doesn’t come close anymore to describing everything we do here to blanket Northwest Connecticut and the Farmington Valley with local news, information and a range of option for advertisers.

Welcome to “Foothills Media Group.”

Matt DeRienzo is publisher of The Register Citizen. He can be reached at 860-489-3121, ext. 350, or by email at For more, read his blog at


Written by mattderienzo

November 30, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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