Enterprise plans to launch Barnstable edition next month

Publisher calls move a natural fit with current Enterprise circulation area
Says there's enough room in Cape's biggest town for new newspaper

By James Kinsella

The Enterprise newspapers, which long have published the dominant local paper in Falmouth, plan to launch a newspaper in Barnstable by the end of next month.

"When the economy's not good, you can cut expenses or raise revenues. We're not the kind to hunker down."
            - Publisher Bill Hough

Publisher Bill Hough said the company is shooting for late February to start publishing the Barnstable Enterprise, a weekly newspaper that would cover Cape Cod's largest town.

Although businesses in general and newspapers in particular have been facing serious difficulty in the current economic slump, Hough said that hasn't been the case at the Enterprise papers, which continue to maintain circulation and draw advertising.

"When the economy's not good, you can cut expenses or raise revenues," Hough said. "We're not the kind to hunker down."

Will battle Patriot and Register

The Barnstable Enterprise is entering the town against a strong local weekly, the Barnstable Patriot, which is owned by Ottaway Newpapers, the owner of the Cape's only daily, the Cape Cod Times, as well at The Register which is owned by the country's largest newspaper chain GateHouse Media.

Hough, however, say there will be room in the large town for the new newspaper.

Laura Reckford, now managing editor of the Falmouth Enterprise, will take the helm as the Barnstable Enterprise's managing editor. Hough said she will work with an editor, reporter and sportswriter to produce the paper. Hough will take over her duties at the Falmouth Enterprise.

Publisher calls new edition natural fit with its Upper Cape papers

Asked why the company has decided to go into Barnstable, Hough said it's a natural fit with the Upper Cape towns where the Enterprise already publishes editions. He said the company started contemplating such a move about five years ago.

The Barnstable Enterprise will start out with a controlled circulation of 5,000.
The Patriot's circulation was 4,671 in 2006.
The Register's circulation was not available.

The Enterprise publishes twice a week in Falmouth and weekly in Bourne, Sandwich and Mashpee. Hough said the newpaper's overall circulation is about 20,000, with half of that in Falmouth and the remainder fairly evenly split among the other three editions.

The Barnstable edition will retail at newsstands for 75 cents, the same as the Barnstable Patriot.

Hough said the newspaper will start out with a controlled circulation of 5,000, sending free samples over time to different areas of the town, and makikng certain that town officials and potential advertisers receive copies.

Hough anticipates the Barnstable Enterprise will be published in three sections, with the front section devoted to Barnstable, the second section containing regional stories shared among the Enterprise papers, and the third section with classified advertising.

Patriot publisher says newspaper is ready for Enterprise challenge

Rob Sennott, publisher of the Barnstable Patriot, said the newspaper's historic roots and strong local presence will serve it well in the pending competition for readers and advertisers.

"The Patriot has been serving the town of Barnstable since 1830 and will continue to serve," Sennott said Friday.

"We always welcome competition," he said. "We would anticipate challenging them in the community and suspect that the town may be better served" through the competition.

Looking ahead, Sennott said, "We are confident of our extraordinarily good editorial coverage of government, of the schools, of the villages." Further, he said many businesses continue to find customers by advertising in the Patriot.

The Patriot, he said, will continue to prove its value to those who live and work in the general Barnstable community. The last publicly reported circulation of The Patriot was 4,671 in 2006.

Official contacted at The Register offered similar sentiments, but were not willing to reveal that weekly's circulation in Barnstable only saying that most of it's circulation was in Yarmouth and Dennis which was The Register's original coverage area.

Enterprise looking to Internet for part of its model

Reckford, asked about her plans for the Barnstable Enterprise, said she wants to combine the best qualities of the new Internet news with the benefits of old-fashioned community journalism.

To that end, she wants the Barnstable Enterprise to have lots of local voices with a lot of ways for people to get involved with the newspaper. Her reference to the Internet, she said, was as an operating model, although the company will be developing a Web site tied in with the new paper.

Asked if she were concerned about getting up to speed on coverage of the town, Reckford said she's been following what's been happening in Barnstable and other Cape towns for many years.

"To me, it's an exciting opportunity to meet new people," she said.

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