So, what’s up with the new “MyVillager” banner on the front page of this issue (reproduced above) and the new tagline “Know Your Neighborhood”?

What’s up are a lot of things. The Villager continues its transition from a strictly free-distribution publication—one that up until relatively recently was supported solely by paid advertising, to one that increasingly relies on paid memberships to support the quality of journalism you’ve come to expect from us.

As a result, our customers are increasingly our readers, not just our advertisers. And as such, we wanted to suggest by our name a closer, more personal relationship with those readers. You might even say a sense of ownership for those who value the information we publish enough to become paying members.

And as more and more of our readers opt to access that journalism in digital form via Facebook and our website at MyVillager.com, it only made sense to consolidate our brand with a common identity at this time.

“Know Your Neighborhood” replaces our longtime tagline “Your Neighborhood Newspaper Since 1953.” We believe the new tagline better reflects our editorial coverage and the reason why our readers continually tell us that they peruse this publication from front to back or, in digital form, from link to link.

“Know Your Neighborhood” replaces our longtime tagline “Your Neighborhood Newspaper Since 1953.” We believe the new tagline better reflects our editorial coverage and the reason why our readers continually tell us that they peruse this publication from front to back or, in digital form, from link to link.

It’s the neighborhood news, to be sure, but it’s also the opinions, the personality profiles, the arts coverage, the sports features, the historical retrospectives, and the special sections on everything from home improvement to education to health and fitness to seniors and gardening. We believe “Know Your Neighborhood” better encapsulates the breadth of that editorial content.

The new name also coincides with our move in May to 241 S. Cleveland Ave. in the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood. A new MyVillager sign will shortly go up on our newly leased quarters in the office building at Cleveland and Saint Clair avenues. Our former home at 757 S. Snelling Ave. in Highland Park was sold to a local buyer before it was even formally listed.

As I write, the MyVillager.com website is undergoing significant upgrades—some that will be readily apparent, some not—including a digital archive of every print edition of this publication dating back to March 1953. The 68-year archive of Villagers will be searchable by name, place, business, organization, event—you name it—allowing paid members to easily access exactly what they’re looking for.

Our website, which up to this point has also been accessible for free, will soon have a paywall limiting access to all but our paying members. The same will be true of our printed editions, which will soon be distributed by the U.S. Postal Service solely to paying members. The reason for that is simple. The days of the free distribution of publications—whether in print or in digital form—are rapidly coming to a close. Thousands of publications across the country have ceased operations in recent years due to the changing realities of the media landscape. It’s our firm intention to avoid joining their ranks.

So, to the growing number of you who have appreciated the value of what this publication—the oldest and largest neighborhood news source in the Twin Cities—delivers to the readers and advertisers it serves, I offer my heartfelt thanks.

And to all of you who have been sitting on your hands waiting for the end of “free” before becoming paid members, please know that day is coming. If you’d like to continue receiving MyVillager in any of its manifestations—in print, on your smart phone, on your tablet or your desktop, please consider enrolling as a member. You can do that most effectively by going to MyVillager.com.

Thank you in advance.

— Michael Mischke

Michael Mischke is the owner of Villager Communication Inc., which publishes MyVillager.

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