Two newspaper families are joining forces to better serve the north Oregon coast. East Oregonian Publishing Co. is purchasing the North Coast Citizen, a newspaper serving Manzanita and other oceanfront communities in Tillamook and Clatsop counties with 26 issues a year. The purchase was completed July 26.

EOPC, which has been under the same family ownership since 1908, operates six newspapers and 10 Web sites in Oregon and Washington. The company is acquiring the North Coast Citizen from Dave and Jan Fisher, who have owned the paper since 2004. The Fishers, who previously worked for EOPC in news and advertising at Capital Press in Salem, will remain in their current positions at the Citizen. Dave Fisher is editor and publisher and Jan Fisher is associate publisher in charge of advertising.

"The North Coast Citizen is one of the best newspapers in our region," said Steve Forrester, president and CEO of East Oregonian Publishing Co. "Our newspaper group is pleased and proud to bring it into our publishing family, and we are especially grateful to gain the talent of two very smart newspaper people, Dave and Jan Fisher."

"We look forward to partnering with the newspapers of the East Oregonian Publishing Co. in continuing to improve and grow the North Coast Citizen," Dave Fisher said. "We certainly have enjoyed owning and operating the paper, and are glad that we will continue with the Citizen in our present positions. We love living on the North Oregon Coast."

"The North Coast Citizen has become an exceptional community newspaper under the stewardship of Jan and Dave Fisher," said John S. Perry, chief operating officer for EOPC. "As part of a larger, family-owned company, the Citizen will have access to resources that will allow it to reach a larger audience and better serve its customers."

Jan Fisher said, "With this move, I will be able to better serve our advertisers and subscribers. We're thankful that we can continue to work, live and play in what is a great place to live."

The Citizen, which has a paid circulation of more than 1,700, was founded in 1996 by a group of citizens in Manzanita led by Dave Dillon and Judd Burrow. The Daily Astorian assisted in the production of the fledgling newspaper and continued to print the Citizen on its press in Astoria. In 2003, Tom and Cat Mauldin, who owned the Cannon Beach Gazette at the time, purchased the Citizen. The Fishers purchased the newspaper a year later.

The North Coast Citizen joins other EOPC coastal papers and Web sites: The Daily Astorian, and in Oregon and the Chinook Observer weekly newspaper on the Long Beach (Wash.) Peninsula.

Other East Oregonian Publishing Co. newspaper and Web properties are: the East Oregonian in Pendleton, Wallowa County Chieftain in Enterprise, Blue Mountain Eagle in John Day, and Capital Press, a four-state agricultural weekly based in Salem.

The EOPC media properties on the coast provide nearly 70 jobs in the region, plus newspaper carriers who are under contract.

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