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HBJ name change takes paper to its roots

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By Kurt Batdorf
HBJ Editor
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 3:26 p.m.
  • The first issue of The Herald Business Journal debuted in April 1998.

    HBJ file

    The first issue of The Herald Business Journal debuted in April 1998.

EVERETT — You may have noticed a new name on the cover of what has long been the Snohomish County Business Journal.
It's not really a new name, since the newspaper you're reading now made its debut as The Herald Business Journal in April 1998. We're making the name change to The Herald Business Journal to better align our marketing efforts with our corporate sibling, The Daily Herald.
“Businesses and leaders know that The Daily Herald has been devoted to Snohomish County for a long time,” Herald executive editor Neal Pattison said. “We want to make it clear that our monthly business journal is a part of that same news operation, with the same kind of community commitments.”
Dusting off the old Herald Business Journal name also means we'll have a new Web address: www.theherald businessjournal.com. Using www.scbj.com will continue to direct online users to the new address.
“We launched it as The Herald Business Journal in April 1998 because we wanted the link with The Daily Herald to be clear,” founding editor John Wolcott said. “Also, the Everett Business Journal launched the same month and we knew that close links to The Daily Herald would pay off in popularity and advertising for the HBJ.”
When the Everett Business Journal failed and The Herald bought its assets a few years later, the name change to the Snohomish County Business Journal made sense. It helped readers know that they could expect to see business stories from all over Snohomish County, not just from Everett.
“Steve Hawes (former Herald Business Journal publisher) noted that most business journals have their distribution and service area in their title, so the Snohomish County Business Journal was created,” Wolcott said.
Mike Benbow, the recently retired business editor of The Herald, recalled that he and Wolcott used to share stories, but Herald management eventually decided it would be best to keep most of the publications' respective editorial content separate. That was when advertising revenue could support Benbow and two full-time business reporters on the daily side while Wolcott had one full-time staffer for the Business Journal.
However, the lingering impact of the recession on newspaper advertising, Wolcott's retirement two years ago and staff cuts in The Herald's newsroom resulted in a change of philosophy. Under Pattison's guidance, The Daily Herald, the Business Journal and the Weekly Herald now closely coordinate business news coverage and regularly share stories between the publications.
Kurt Batdorf: 425-339-3102; kbatdorf@heraldnet.com.

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