New Name, New Website … Old Intentions

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Hopefully, it was hard for you to miss the new banner above that debuts today in this our 233rd edition of . . .  The Roanoke Star.com. Yup – that’s it – we’ve shortened our name and added an all too familiar moniker on the end. We hope you like the idea!

The reasons are simple really. In the fall of 2008 we launched NewsRoanoke.com and merged our existing website, The RoanokeStar.com, into it – seeking to create a local web portal that used both Star-Sentinel content and live RSS feeds from other local media outlets. The blended concept worked well and we continue to receive compliments on its clean streamlined presentation and layout. But one issue remained in that we now had two brands to promote.

Meanwhile the news gathering ability and popularity of the print edition has continued to grow. As I’ve said before in these pages, “If love paid the bills we could have all retired a long time ago.” (Not that we would!) Thank you for all your compliments and ongoing support. In a business where financial reward can be slim in this day and age, it truly does help all of us continue the mission.

Which hasn’t changed by the way. As the only locally owned print-media outlet in Roanoke, our intention is to continue to bring you the best in local news, sports, arts and business coverage as well as our popular perspective writers. It will just come to you quicker online (as soon as articles come out of edit) while remaining available as a comfortable read in our weekly print edition.

But financially we obviously have to succeed, and looking to the future it is clear we need to focus more on our online product while maintaining a strong print edition. Accordingly the decision was made to allow every newspaper we produce to promote the online component and visa-versa . . . Thus the single marquee: TheRoanokeStar.com.

We know that most of you will now simply start calling this publication “The Roanoke Star,”  and that’s fine. In fact, many already do and we welcome it. The name is, of course, synonymous with the major icon representing the city’s identity and as the Valley’s hometown community newspaper that’s exactly what we try to reflect in a positive way week in and week out. Please continue to let us know how we can better accomplish that.

As part of this new setup we are offering an innovative approach to print / web advertising. When you run your ad “in” The Roanoke Star you will automatically be “on” line as well. Regular advertisers will receive this strong blended presentation of impressions at no additional cost and without the headache of separate contracts and what can only best be described as confusing “shades-of-grey web marketing” by many on-line enterprises.

A final note: If The Roanoke Star is going to thrive in today’s heavily fragmented media market we need every one of our readers to act as “sales people.” Do you believe in what we are doing? Does the fresh, unbiased and less worldly presentation of news coverage and opinion strike you as being important to this community?

If so, please speak and act such that potential subscribers and advertisers know the need to be a part of this effort as well.  Your intentional and steadfast support will make ALL the difference in our future together.

Thank you dear reader. See you in print and online!

 – Stuart Revercomb
 Publisher
[email protected]