Magazine article Editor & Publisher

10 That Do It RIGHT - Northwest Herald

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

10 That Do It RIGHT - Northwest Herald

Article excerpt

Crystal Lake, Ill.

As far back as the 1960s, when McHenry County was considered to be out in the boonies of northern Illinois, dailies from Chicago, Wheaton, and Arlington Heights were already sending circulation trucks on the long drive to what were then quaint villages along the Fox River Valley.

By 1983, a population boom of professionals was replacing farms with housing developments, and Robert A. Shaw, whose Shaw Newspapers' flagship was the semiweekly Crystal Lake Herald, decided that McHenry County deserved its own fine daily paper.

Shaw bought the old Free Press weeklies, combined them with its collection of community papers -- and shut them all down to create the daily Northwest Herald. "It was a vision inspired by The Orange County [Calif.] Register, which did something similar in the late 1960s and '70s, right under the nose of the Los Angeles Times," recalls Shaw, who retired as publisher in March at age 50.

The Northwest Herald has proven remarkably adept at defending its ever- more-prosperous market against repeated incursions by the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, as well as occasional forays by nearby dailies. …

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