The Changing Landscape of Local News: Mike Wyner has Left the Building

Weston Town. Crier, March 2016

Those who have subscribed to or read the Weston Town Crier will know the name Mike Wyner. For many years, his name graced most stories on the front page, and on the inside pages. Some may not know that as of this summer, Mike is no longer the “in-charge” for our local newspaper. If you’ve been living under a rock (or possibly just not in Weston), you would not know that for the last 17 years, he’s been the writer and editor behind the print and electronic (Wicked Local) versions of the Weston (and Wayland) Town Crier.

Mike Wyner. Courtesy Photo

The Owl has never met Mike, but has sent to him more than a few articles–from Arbor Day missives to PTO Creative Arts events to edited Owl stories (edited in that they were based on actual fact, rather than the sometimes-marginal-blather that appears here). It was in sending some news of the new football coach that Mike responded that he had left the Weston Town Crier and was now the planner for the Newport Daily News of Rhode Island, and the Norwich Bulletin of Connecticut.

To editorialize (because that is what I do), local news is in trouble–and if that in itself is news to you, you HAVE been living under a rock. Costs of running a newsroom are high. News cycles are too short for the weekly newspaper, which gets marginalized by being out of date with the 24-hour-a-day news sources. That’s not me, by the way, as I get sleepy around 9 pm. Fortunately, nothing ever happens in Weston after 9 pm. No, scratch that, nothing good ever happens in Weston after around 9 pm. No, the Weston Town Crier is not going under (Phil Maddocks is now leading the Weston Town Crier, and the manager of the newspaper and Wicked Local Weston website is Jesse Floyd–contact info below).

On the other hand, according to the executive director of the LION publishers group, Chris Krewson, focused digital news sources are picking up the slack. News focused on the community will always have a place–small media sources are the watchdogs for public meetings, for school successes and failures, and for all of the myriad thing that happen in a small town as well as the big towns. This is not to say that the Owl has any pretentions of competing with a Town Crier or other community news source–because in the end, the Owl is not without her biases, and that’s what makes this fun, no?

Back to Mike Wyner’s departure: we, as a community, wish him well on his next challenge. We cannot for the life of us figure out what Newport tennis and yachting championships and a bunch of old mansions have on us, the home of small division championships and tall trees and a bunch of new mansions. Mystery.

Going forward, submissions to the Weston Town Crier should be sent to weston@wickedlocal.com, and the manager of the newspaper and Wicked Local Weston website is Jesse Floyd (jfloyd@wickedlocal.com). Support local media!

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