COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER EXPANDS
Community Impact Newspaper, based in Pflugerville, Texas, has launched a number of papers in the last year to bring the chain’s count to 27 papers in total by the end of September.
The expanding company says it’s restructured an antiquated model — the community newspaper — and “turned it into an essential tool by providing readers with useful, informative news.”
The free papers featuring hyperlocal content have websites for daily updates and a print edition that’s mailed once a month to area readers. The papers are almost 100 percent advertising driven, says Community Impact Newspaper co- owner John Garrett.
Recent l aunches cover Lewisville, Flower Mound and Highland Village, in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro; New Braunfels, Texas; Clear Lake, League City and Nassau Bay, in the Houston metro area; and most recently Richardson, in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area; and Gilbert, Arizona, in the Phoenix metro area.
Owners John and Jennifer Garrett started the first edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pflugerville. The company has no other investors, John Garrett says. Unlike some outlets with a hyperlocal focus, the company doesn’t rely on freelancers, but on a staff of some 50 journalists and editors, Garrett says.
The company opened a $10 million printing facility in 2016 next to its Pflugerville headquarters. Jennifer Garrett’s interior design background was put to use in the company’s workspace designs, so journalists used to dusty old newsrooms might be surprised at what they see.
The company’s newspaper model stresses useful news and a serious commitment to graphic design and rich infographics, says John Garrett, who spent time on the business side at the Houston Chronicle and the Austin Business Journal. “The quality of the design really shines,” he says.
The company aims t o compete with “t he Googles and the Facebooks,” John Garrett says.
Its recent launch in Richardson, Texas, represents the company’s sixth edition in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area.
“The residents and business owners of Richardson deserve to have someone covering their city in a way that is unbiased and informative,” said Christal Howard, the company’s Dallas/Fort Worth publisher. “We believe not just in covering the important, newsworthy happenings; we believe in showing up. You’ll see us all around town and at city council and school board meetings. It’s a responsibility we are humbled to take on and don’t take lightly.”
John and Jennifer Garrett at the launch party for community Impact Newspaper's edition in New Braunfels, Texas. Photo: Community Impact Newspaper