Longtime publishers Joseph and Mary Skrivan plan to retire after selling the newspaper to Pitzer Digital, LLC, based in Neligh and owned by Carrie and Wade Pitzer. Carrie Pitzer will become just the fifth publisher in the history of the publication.
Joe Skrivan purchased the paper from his father, Bill, in 1981. Bill Skrivan purchased it from his brother-in-law Pete Stepp in 1944. Stepp became publisher in 1924, having bought the paper from founders Walt and Whitt Neeman, who published the first newspaper on Dec. 12, 1890.
“We’ve spent the last several months working with and getting to know Joe, Mary and the Bloomfield community,” Pitzer said. “It’s very important to us to carry on their strong tradition and legacy. The more I get to know Joe, the more I find he and I are very similar in our journalistic integrity and values. I hope to make them very proud.”
Many readers already will be familiar with the Pitzers, who have ran the online-based Knox County News website since 2014. They also own the Antelope County News and Living Here Magazine. Carrie Pitzer has spent 20 years in Northeast Nebraska media, having spent the first 15 years of her career at the Norfolk Daily News, beginning in sports, then news and finally in online news and advertising.
Under new ownership, there will be noticeable changes with the Bloomfield Monitor from content to design. Pitzer said she has spoken at length with the Skrivans about the changes, and they have been nothing but supportive.
Among the most visible changes will be the updated design, color photos and emphasis on technology and social media. Pitzer said these are also the changes that the Skrivans are the most excited about seeing with the publication.
“We have a different philosophy than most newspapers simply because we don’t believe we are one. We’re a news source - not a newspaper,” Pitzer said. “We utilize old fashioned journalism but present it in a high-tech manner. We are online, in print, on social media. Readers will see in depth feature stories and high quality photos online and in print. They’ll also see breaking news and lots of sports coverage.”
Pitzer Digital has already hired Cory Loomis, a 1993 Bloomfield graduate, as a reporter and photographer. Loomis’ photography ability is well known in the community and is a great asset to the publication, Pitzer said. He also has strong connections with the community.
The company plans to hire another reporter and photographer in the coming weeks. Pitzer said Jessie Loomis also has joined the company as an advertising representative and will work with all of the company’s publications.
While the Bloomfield Monitor is officially now the Knox County News/Bloomfield Monitor, Pitzer said subscribers should not be concerned about the name change. In fact, Pitzer said the first edition should rest all fears as it will be full of Bloomfield news.
“If this wasn’t a good move for the Bloomfield Monitor, there’s no way Joe and Mary would have sold it to us,” Pitzer said. “Times and technology have changed, and they understand that in order for a small town newspaper to thrive, it has to expand. They support this expansion, and I truly believe our Bloomfield readers will be happy with our plan to increase coverage in Bloomfield and still add in Knox County news. This really is a win-win for the Bloomfield Monitor.”
The Knox County News/Bloomfield Monitor will still be located at 110 N. Broadway in Bloomfield. Staff can be reached by calling 402-373-2332 or by emailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.