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We are closing Plumas News — but Feather Publishing is here to stay

By Cobey Brown

Owner/Publisher

First, we would like to thank those of you who have supported Feather Publishing and Plumas News over the years. Whether it was in paper format or digital, we hope that in some way we made an impact on your life. We have read every word that you have shared since the decision was made to stop publishing Plumas News. What has stood out is that you relied on us for current, up-to-date information regarding our communities, but this has become an almost impossible task.

There has been a lot of speculation as to the reasoning behind this decision and most of you have expressed a belief that it was financial. While the pandemic and the Dixie fire did impact us, there is so much more that goes into publishing a paper/website. Over the past few years, our staff has diminished to just a few members.  Like most businesses today, it has proven difficult to fill these positions with people who have the skills and the desire to put in the time required to create a publication. Whether it is a board meeting, a sporting event, a disaster or a celebration, someone must cover it, and our team has worked tirelessly to provide that information. This is a 24/7 operation and frankly, we are tired. The stress that it has placed on our staff is taking a toll on their health and it is simply not worth the sacrifice.

Many have asked why we don’t charge for subscriptions. During the fire and the pandemic, we felt it was more important to provide accurate information and ensure the safety of our community. By charging a fee, we believed we would be leaving out members of our community and that everyone deserved to have access to news in a timely manner. Our advertisers have carried the weight of ensuring that everyone had access.  It would take 10,000 subscribers to meet payroll alone. That does not cover the addition of staff that is necessary to take the burden off of those who have worked so tirelessly. While we appreciate the generosity of you all, that is not the solution. To charge for subscriptions increases the expectations of the consumer. This puts even more stress on our staff.

So, what then is the solution? That remains to be seen. There is more to writing news than putting words on paper. The time required to investigate and ensure accuracy must be factored in. To publish without verifying facts would not be journalism.

Feather Publishing is still alive and well and we look forward to supplying you with High Country Life, The Dining Guide, The Visitor Guide, maps, etc. We will also continue to provide all of your commercial printing needs such as business cards, letterhead, envelopes, newsletters and forms.

It has been our privilege to serve you, and now our families are looking forward to spending much needed time with us.

25 thoughts on “We are closing Plumas News — but Feather Publishing is here to stay

  • is

    I wonder, is there any Grant moneys available to support this very important Comminity service?

  • I cannot express my gratitude to your staff for all you have done to keep our communities informed. Thank you!

  • Plumas News has done a fantastic job over the years. I have truly appreciated it and the hard work you folks have done. I wish you all well in your future endeavors!
    LouRene Fitzsimmons
    Portola

  • Thank you for the years of extraordinary service you have provided to all of us in Plumas County and beyond. I’m hoping that, as our county recovers from the damage the pandemic and the Dixie Fire did, young energetic folks will step up to fill the gaps in leadership and in the workforce we now are experiencing. Plumas County is such a special and beautiful place.

  • I want to make a few points here:

    The current owners took over July 1, 2020, so ‘over the years’ is a stretch (although they did work there before becoming the owners.

    The trend in newspapers is to gut the newsrooms due to the expense of reporters, and this is no different in my opinion. This has happened across the country and hits small towns with no other news sources the hardest. Feather Publishing is keeping the ad revenue publications and scrapping the news.

    My hope is that another publisher will take over, and local advertisers will abandon Feather Publishing when that happens.

    • Let me make a few points in response:

      Cobey Brown, the current owner, has worked here for 36 years – running our operations. He is the one who made sure the newspaper physically landed in your hands each week — from the press to the mailbox. He handled the production of all of our other publications as well as the print shop. When the former publisher decided to stop production during COVID, Cobey stepped up and bought the business to save the jobs of the remaining employees and to continue to provide an invaluable service to this county.

      As for gutting the newsroom, he has done everything in his power to maintain his staff. Since the news division is not profitable, he supplemented our paychecks from the areas that do turn a profit and from his own pocket.

      As for your last comment, it just makes me sad. I am confident that the rest of the community will continue to support us.

    • Paul, This is the lamest and most disheartening comment yet. You have absolutely zero clue as to who was involved in this decision, nor the circumstances surrounding it. I hope you would at least find the courage to call Cobey and speak to him before you open your mouth in such juvenile ways again. The newspaper and the website would have shut down in 2020 had he not stepped up to the plate as much as he did. Do a little due diligence before you go spreading false accusations about people you clown.

    • Seriously why, why do you feel the need to make false accusation’s. Have you spoke to Cobey? Do you have the facts straight? I will answer that for you no, no you don’t. Cobey has poured his heart and soul into Feather Publishing and the Print Shop spending his life serving us, his community. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      We, as a community, are sure thankful for all he has done for us.

  • It’s extremely sad when a person can’t wish someone well as they embark on a new phase in their life/business. No one can know all the things that factor into a decision like this (and frankly, it’s no one else’s business but the owners’.) To express such bitter sentiments publicly at a time like this is totally uncalled for in my opinion.

    I know the majority of our community will sorely miss the valuable service provided over the years, and wish the best for Feather Publishing in the future. And yes, we hope another publisher will take over, because we desperately need a source for news, NOT because we want them to take advertisers away from Feather Publishing’s remaining publications!!

  • I can fully understand when the time comes for lighter duties after many years of service to our county. You all have done a wonderful job and deserve the best wishes for future adventures. You have a lot to be very proud of. Thank you so much for all the hard work!

  • I am truly saddened by this news. However, I can empathize with your stance and your situation.

    As someone born and raised in Quincy, then having moved away to chase the dream, the Feather River Bulletin and Plumas News have always been a strong tether to my old stomping grounds and the people that populate them.

    The hard work of you and your staff over the years is very greatly appreciated! Your publications have been just plain good reading! They were never the biased, over-sensationalized press that is so prevalent these days.

    But, they say you never miss a good thing until it’s gone. And now it’s gone…

    As Judy from the last comment said, I hope someone steps in to fill the gap.

  • One of the blessings of small communities (if you are lucky) is a small-town newspaper with local news, local sports, calendar of local events and updates on important county wide issues. In my opinion Feather Publishing was/is an exceptional publication especially for such a small population base. The articles and pictures that gave kudos for our kid’s (adults too) accomplishments whether it is in sports, academics or the arts are family treasures. The online version provided critical updates on fires, flooding and winter roads. I honestly do not know how your reporters covered so many board meetings, local events, elections, sporting events, etc. Thank you to all of you past and present at Feather Publishing for all the years of service for I know for most of you it was a labor of love!

  • Will the Lassen County Times continue…..? I need to know where I can get my unbiased news..?

  • Will miss you very much!

  • A truly difficult situation–thank you for all these years of news and reporting.
    It appears, however, that Feather Publishing is going to only serve tourists with their ongoing publications.
    As a local, I must say that I feel we are being left high and dry—we need ongoing news and a forum for discussion, a way to keep elected officials accountable, and many other things that Plumas News provided.
    I am grateful, but also am in mourning.

    • The magazine High Country Life is about locals for locals. As we dedicate more time to this publication, you can expect to see business profiles, stories focusing on the rich history of area, regular features about the people who call this unique place home. There will be a section devoted to photos of local events and much more. It will be a place where we can delve deeper into stories and produce high quality photos.

      • Thank you for this hopeful update.

  • I did part time, non-reporting work at Feather Publishing twice over the years. My former wife worked as a graphic designer for them. It has always seemed to me that the business had to rely on great dedication from employer and employees to handle both the work load and the stress of a deadline driven, always something enterprise. Walking into the building in recent years, the nearly empty space made it obvious that only a handful of people were carrying the huge load.
    I will miss the open forum of letters and opinions most of all. I do not participate in the social media cesspool, and treasure the moderated conversation that local news provides. It will be sorely missed.
    I add my thanks for the fine job done by all concerned, necessarily mentioning Debra Moore and Coby Brown who have been leading the effort. Watching hours of information from authorities during the fires, or reading public relations items from government and others, it has always been striking to see how much better Feather Publishing’s reports are than the raw product.
    All this and more will be sorely missed.

  • Thank you so so much. You were our lifeline during fires and Covid and local news. You will so surely be missed but totally understand the reasons. Time marches on with new technology that doesn’t always benefit us all. Best of luck and thanks.

  • Cobey annd other former coworkers, thanks for your grit, for trying, for everything. Across this great country of ours I’ve seen so many businesses struggling due to staff shortages or seriously suffering due to unsuitable hires. You are not alone in that tiredness. Sometimes I fear the future, especially with what so many others will see only as a colossal failure. Instead I will remain hopeful for the people of Indian Valley and Plumas County. Fair winds and following seas my old newsies.

  • We thank you all for your time and dedication to the community and for delivering the news to us in a timely manner, and all your support and coverage for the non-profit, volunteer groups, and service groups over the years! You will be missed but not forgotten. Much love Coby and Susan – we are here for you.

  • I totally understand having to step away from a business that is taking too much, kudo’s to the staff for prioritizing their families, however this does not help us solve our problem. If financial assistance is not the solution, then the community needs to come together to figure out a way to have a central place for local news and postings and public forum. I agree with the previous person about not wanting to let our community rely on the social media cesspool.. Maybe we have a government managed link on the Plumas County website where folks can post information? Better yet, maybe we tie local news in with our local radio station, or a non-profit model that can run a barebones website where folks can post news about obituaries, public events, letters to the editor, emergency information? Just a thought.. it seems we all need to work together to find a solution or we won’t have a way to keep our community together.. Any ideas people?

  • I want to commend Cobey for all the hard work he has done. It is sad that the Plumas News wil be history, but Cobey has given it his all. God bless and may you continue to serve the residents of Quincy in just a little different fashion. I am so thankful that Deb Moore hung
    In there as well!!

  • This is absolutely devastating
    turn of events.
    A newspaper/news source is the
    Heart and Soul of a community.
    I’m grieving for Quincy and
    Plumas County.
    The publication you produced,
    and All that you provided to our
    Community was Superior.
    I so wish you all the best.
    The County must fill the void,
    On it’s website.
    at the very least, for up to the
    Minute information during
    Emergency events, especially as
    Fire Season…
    I can’t continue, my thoughts and
    Emotions are descending into …
    I wish you all, the best, good luck.
    While I may be a Humanist,
    I am Praying for our Community
    AND our Country.

  • Like everyone else, I will sorely miss this line of honest and timely communication.

    Thank you for adding a “donate” box, I will do that now to show our deep appreciation for all that you have given us. I will especially miss the Sheriff’s blotter which I counted on for information and a lovely dose of humor in the headers.

    Thank you so very much!

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