About the Observer
The Observer, established in 1896, is proud to be
Union and Wallowa counties' news leader. The newspaper, with over
14,000 readers in those two counties, is published Monday through Friday afternoon. The Observer is part of the Western Communications
Inc. family of newspapers.
The newspaper's office and printing plant is in La Grande, county seat of Union County and home to Eastern Oregon University. Two reporters and a photographer are based in Enterprise, county seat of Wallowa County.
The Observer is recognized as the dominant news and advertising source for Northeast Oregon and has received numerous news, advertising and printing awards in recent years. The newspaper is committed to providing comprehensive news, sports and advertising coverage of the two-county area. In 2005, The Observer won 16 awards for editorial excellence from the Oregon Newspaper Publisher's Association, including recognition as "Oregon's Best Small Daily Newspaper."
The management team of the newspaper includes Publisher/Editor Ted Kramer; Production Director Frank Everidge; Circulation Director Tom Hooton; and Advertising Director Mike Waltman. Supervisors include Terry Everidge, distribution center; Dorothy Kautz, composing; Mona Tuck, office manager and NIE; Sissy Garinger, circulation sales. The Observer has 38 employees and 60 newspaper carriers.
The newspaper maintains a six-unit Goss Community press and serves as the central press facility for Western Communications' Northeast Oregon newspapers. The Observer has a well-deserved reputation for outstanding print quality, graphics and color reproduction. In four of the last seven years, the newspaper has earned awards for print quality by the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association, including a first place award for 2006.
The Observer is proud of its commitment to and participation in its community. Over 100 local events, fundraisers, non-profits and service clubs receive donations from the newspaper. Some of the sponsorships, support and memberships include: United Way of Union County; Wallowa County Fair; Union County Fair; Union County 4-H Leaders; Eastern Oregon University Foundation; Fishtrap Writer's Workshop; Grande Ronde Bowmen; The Blue Mountain Forum; La Grande Community Library Foundation; Relay for Life; Union County Chamber of Commerce; Elgin Chamber of Commerce; Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce; Union County Economic Development Corporation; and support of various high school booster clubs and school activities in Union and Wallowa counties.
The Observer has also developed one of the best Newspaper In Education (NIE) programs in the Northwest. Over 1,000 local students in 48 classrooms receive copies of the newspaper to study current events and other topics. Mona Tuck, the NIE Manager can be reached at 963-3161.
The Observer is owned by Western Communications, Inc., a family-owned company based in Bend, Oregon. In addition to La Grande and Bend, the company owns newspapers in Baker City, Brookings, and Redmond, Oregon. WesCom also publishes newspapers in Crescent City and Sonora, California.