In battle of the burbs, Oregonian takes newspaper war to Beaverton

In battle of the burbs, Oregonian takes newspaper war to Beaverton
The Oregonian says the Beaverton Leader will debut in May.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Oregonian Publishing Co. is continuing its foray into community newspapers.

The Beaverton Leader will debut in May, according to a story on The Oregonian’s website.

The free paper will be distributed weekly to about 90,000 households in Beaverton and surrounding areas.

Last fall, The Oregonian launched the Forest Grove Leader, igniting a newspaper war with Pamplin Media Group, which publishes the Forest Grove News-Times and 23 other community newspapers around the region.

The competition continues: Pamplin also publishes the Beaverton Valley Times. Last September, Pamplin launched The Hillsboro Tribune to compete with the Oregonian’s Hillsboro Argus.

I’m no expert on all this, but I began my career in community newspapers. With their local emphasis, well-run community newspapers can have high profit margins, though the amount of money flowing through those small organizations is limited.

Oregonian Publisher N. Christian Anderson III has in the past declined to discuss the company’s strategy in depth, but it’s clear that the Oregonian is making strides to sidetrack Pamplin while working to generate new readers in a different format.

Both Pamplin Media Group and The Oregonian publicly downplay any bad blood, but make no mistake: this is a testy competition with no love lost on either side.

The Portland Business Journal is a KATU News partner.