Johnson Publications to merge Imperial,Wauneta newspapers
This year has certainly been one of adapting to change with ongoing unknowns for the future.
Johnson Publications will be a part of that change when the Wauneta Breeze merges into the Imperial Republican, effective Nov. 19.
Russ and Lori Pankonin moved to Wauneta in 1982 when The Wauneta Breeze was added as the fourth newspaper in the Johnson Publications organization. Other sister papers are the Grant Tribune-Sentinel and Holyoke Enterprise.
“It’s been an emotional consideration,” said Co-Publisher Lori Pankonin. “It’s ultimately come down to a necessary business decision.”
Pankonin agrees that online options and social media have provided significant advantages for immediate communication and efficiency both personally and professionally. However, it’s definitely taken a toll on the newspaper industry, causing many long-time daily and weekly publications to close or consolidate.
Digital progress has provided significant production possibilities for newspapers. Pictures are available immediately, and in most cases cell phone pictures reproduce well. In all the Johnson Publications communities, people are encouraged to submit photos for consideration along with a contact for further information. Open communication is welcomed.
The Pankonins moved to Imperial with their daughters, Brooke and Celeste, in 1997. They, along with Lori’s sister, Brenda Johnson Brandt, purchased the papers in 1999 from their parents, Loral and Elna Johnson. Brandt is publisher of the Holyoke Enterprise. The Pankonins are co-publishers for the Imperial, Grant and Wauneta papers.