Growth and changes

By Shalon Hartle

If there is one thing in life I have learned, it is that change is constant. In my almost 20 years at The Richfield Reaper that has been proven to me time and time again.

While many people struggle with change, I choose to look at it as an opportunity to move forward, to improve and grow.

In November 2022, CherryRoad Media purchased The Richfield Reaper along with the Uintah Basin Standard and The Vernal Express, from Brehm Communications, Inc. BCI bought The Richfield Reaper and the other Utah papers in 1990.

The BCI acquisition brought many changes, but one thing remained the same — The Richfield Reaper was the community’s news source.

Once printed locally at The Reaper building, production has moved not once, but three times to different print operations, but we have never missed getting an edition out.

We have changed management, from Mark Fuellenbach to Charles Hawley to now me and CherryRoad. We have seen numerous changes with software, accounting processes, circulation systems, personnel, publication days and the way the paper is produced. The Reaper is no stranger to change.

We understand the announcement of the sale in November has sent concern through the people of our community, but I can assure you that The Reaper is here to stay.

We are not going fully digital, but we will look to continue to enhance our online presence as a complement to the print edition. We do offer online subscriptions as well as the print edition.

We are not in financial trouble. CherryRoad Media is a strong and viable entity publishing more than 70 community newspapers nationwide.

It was not our choice to discontinue carrying The Deseret News as an insert in our paper. That was a decision the Deseret News made, determining it just wasn’t feasible for them to print their paper and have it inserted into The Reaper. We tried to keep that in our paper and even offered to use a digital link to keep that content for our readers, to no avail.

The same is true with the inserts we carry in the paper. Associated Foods has decided that scaling back its printing was best for its needs. This is not a Reaper decision; they are our customer, and we honor its decision in doing what works best for its company.  

I have The Reaper’s best interest as my primary motivation, as does CherryRoad Media. While there have been changes within the pages of The Reaper, some of which have led to comments from members of the community, both positive and negative, that is something we would expect with an ownership change.

The comics have changed, the layout is a bit different, the page size is different. There is the possibility of other changes in the future.

We have changed every single process by which we are producing the paper, and it is a constant work in progress. With the changes, there is one thing that is a guarantee, The Reaper, along with its owner and its staff, is 100% committed to be the source for news in this community.

The one thing that will not change and has not, is that The Reaper is committed to be record-keeper recording the history of this community. It is the community’s storyteller.

You’ll find stories on its pages about your friends, family, and neighbors. It has local stories, local faces, celebrations, and those who have passed on. We will continue to bring all these things to you.

Are we perfect? Absolutely not. Will we make mistakes? You can probably count on it. But, we will work every day to make sure that we cover as much as humanly possible the events that shape the community.

We have a great pride in what we do, for us and for you. Please be patient with us as we make this next transition. Things might look different, but know that we strive every day to be your local news source.

Change is inevitable in life, but with each change, we have the opportunity to come out stronger on the other side. The future of The Richfield Reaper is bright and it will continue to tell the stories that make this a great place to live, work, and visit.

We invite you to share your stories with us so that together, we can write the next chapter in that great history.