March 2, 2021

Carrie Pitzer is owner and publisher of Pitzer Digital based in Neligh, Nebraska. Going against the grain, she took on a third weekly newspaper during the pandemic rather than see it close.

“The Stanton Register is the only legal newspaper in the entire Stanton County, so if that newspaper would have closed, there would be no newspaper in Stanton County,” she said. “Where would those legal notices go, you know? How would the subscribers receive information on meeting notices, meeting minutes, budgets bonds, things like that? That was all going to go away.”

She saved the paper established in 1879 for its 700 subscribers. Pitzer focused on creating new advertising and subscription strategies, like the “Be a Hero” campaign.

“They wanted their local news. They wanted their newspaper in their hands,” she said. “So our print subscriptions increased across the board.”

Listen to the oral history interview:

Read the transcript.

See an edition of Antelope County News from March 25, 2020.

See an edition of Knox County News from March 25, 2020.

See an edition of Stanton Register from August 12, 2020.

See more from The Essential Workers, an oral history project tracking the experiences of locally owned newspapers in Mid-America during the pandemic.

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Teri Finneman is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Kansas. She previously worked as a print journalist and multimedia correspondent covering state…
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