Weather Forecast


Name change reflects digital age

The Hastings Star Gazette and its sister news organizations are rebranding their division as RiverTown Multimedia.

Individual properties will continue to strengthen their hometown identities while the group's new name emphasizes that together they are much more than simply 10 newspapers operating under the former RiverTown Newspaper Group identity.

"We're rebranding as RiverTown Multimedia to reflect the changes of our industry," Division Director/Publisher Steve Messick said.

Readers in both print and online will start noticing the RiverTown Multimedia logo as it takes effect June 6.

"We want to showcase how our digital products and services -- including video, email marketing, mobile web, blogs and social media -- can connect advertisers with our growing audience," Messick said.

RiverTown Multimedia officials anticipate people will view more than 25 million pages of locally produced content in 2012. The division had 2.27 million pageviews and 336,000 unique visitors in May alone.

The Hastings Star Gazette's website had 204,626 pageviews and 28,277 absolute unique visitors last month.

The group includes the Hastings Star Gazette, Farmington Independent, Rosemount Town Pages, Red Wing Republican Eagle, South Washington County Bulletin (Cottage Grove) and Woodbury Bulletin in Minnesota and Hudson Star Observer, New Richmond News, River Falls Journal and Pierce County Herald (Ellsworth) in Wisconsin.

In addition, RiverTown Multimedia has the western Wisconsin news outlet www.river

"We're moving quickly toward completing the transformation into a 24/7 news organization where our readers connect with us electronically at work, at home and on the go via mobile devices," Roger Sievers said. He leads the RiverTown Multimedia's digital products.

"In addition to providing our print products every week, we've embraced digital technology, and this rebranding effort makes that clear to our readers and advertisers," Star Gazette editor Chad Richardson said.

The print editions, meanwhile, will continue to provide valuable in-depth local news, education, sports and features to subscribers. The print subscribers get this information first.

Breaking news is posted as quickly as possible on the website.

The combination of the Star Gazette, the Trade Winds weekend shopper and the website at www.hastingsstargazette. com ensures local residents seeking information about their community will be well served.

"Our mission is the same, but we do have dynamic new tools helping us deliver the news our community wants," Messick said.

RiverTown Multimedia team members have held free digital information seminars for local business groups and chambers of commerce this spring throughout our region, Messick said.

"We've learned so much and know we can help equip local businesses with skills for online marketing," he said.

Read more about the group's efforts for the future by clicking here:

RiverTown Multimedia is a division of Forum Communications Co.