The weekly Mountain Echo in Fall River Mills, Shasta County, will cease publication with its final 2019 edition, Editor and Co-Publisher Walt Caldwell told readers on Dec. 3.
The Echo was founded in 1977, and Walt came aboard in 1982 as editor and manager. He and wife Donna acquired it that year.
Donna told CNPA last week that she joined Walt in the venture because otherwise, she’d never see him, since he’d be covering meeting after meeting. The Echo’s coverage area includes 12 communities in eastern Shasta County.
“You want to have the watchdogs attending your local meetings,” she said. “It takes a lot of time and effort.”
“Overall, I absolutely love it,” Walt said about covering meetings and including community news, and putting it all together, and how technology has made some parts of the job easier. “But I wasn’t doing the job I used to be, doing it.”
He also talked about the newspaper’s relevance and influence in the community.
“People-wise it used to be everybody needed to know,” he said. “Births, deaths, and it was a driving sort of thing.”
The community has changed, both Donna and Walt said, with small businesses closing and the audience moving on.
“At least some modicum of respect and the feeling in the general public is that we’re accurate,” Walt said.
The Mountain Echo had been a CNPA member since 1991. Donna noted the paper’s longtime participation in CNPA’s advertising networks. Walt thanked CNPA for taking all of his legal Helpline calls over the years.
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