Canby Now Podcast Rebranded as Digital Newspaper, The Canby Current

The Canby Now Podcast is no more. Long live the Canby Now Podcast.

When we, Tyler Francke and Tyler Clawson, set out on this journey over two years ago, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. The endeavor has been one of the most surprising and rewarding of our lives, but it’s also turned into something bigger, better and unlike anything we ever dreamed.

It has been a very long time since the Canby Now Podcast was “just a podcast.”

It has become the primary source of local — and even state and regional — news for many in Canby. It has become a forum for the lively discussion of important matters facing our area.

It has become a platform for local businesses, our city and our schools and charitable organizations to share meaningful messages with the community. It has become an active community organization, with membership and volunteer contributions to many local groups and worthwhile causes.

Its website now sees well over 125,000 clicks per month (and more than 1 million all-time). The podcast enjoys a monthly audience of almost 10,000 listeners. Its social media following — encompassing Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others — is approaching 8,000, roughly half the population of Canby (though our reach extends well beyond).

We’ve done it all as a side gig — while juggling full-time jobs and families. Imagine what we could accomplish if we could focus on this project full-time. That’s what Phase 2 is all about.

Phase 2: A Fully Fledged, Modern News Organization for Canby

For months, while continuing to provide the free news, information and interviews with local people on which our community has come to rely, we have been laying the groundwork for an ambitious redefinition and possible expansion of our operations.

Today, we take the first step. This includes a name change and rebrand, but it is much, much more than that.

In the place of the Canby Now Podcast, we are unveiling three distinct new properties: The Canby Current, Now Hear This: Canby and CanbyFirst.com.

The Canby Current is our new flagship platform and will take the place of the CNP on our existing social media. The Current is — for now — a fully fledged digital news source, an identity that we feel better represents the role and service we are already performing in our community.

Now Hear This: Canby is the new name of the podcast itself, which will otherwise continue unchanged. “Now Hear This” comes from the name of our company name, Now Hear This Media, an LLC founded and solely owned by the two Tylers.

CanbyFirst.com is our new website, providing free news and information to our community and supporting the operations of The Canby Current and Now Hear This: Canby under the tagline “Canby’s First Choice in News.”

As we refine our advertising model and seek sponsors to help support our vision for a positive, informed and engaged Canby, we will be offering packages that combine and leverage the unique strengths of each of these properties.

And, there’s more.

The Canby Current: A 21st-Century, Community-Supported Newspaper

It is not our intention for The Canby Current to remain a digital-only newspaper. That’s right: For the first time since 1906, we plan to launch a print newspaper in Canby, Oregon.

While many small-town newspapers today have allowed themselves to become stale, outdated, out-of-touch and irrelevant, The Canby Current will be the counterargument, with fresh and thoughtful design, meaningful stories and advertising, respect for our area’s history and traditions and a heavy reliance on community voices.

Our management will be informed and guided by readers and the community. To preserve balance and restore confidence in local news, we will establish a Community Editorial Board and Steering Committee, a diverse group of engaged community members with direct access to our news staff, committed to ensuring the work that they produce is as fair, accurate, culturally sensitive and comprehensive as possible.

In addition to the news, our paper will offer community columns, local history, fiction and poetry, art, comics, crosswords and other puzzles, kids’ activities, always-free obituaries, births and other announcements, an event calendar and much more.

We even plan to bring back kid carriers. We may be taking a 21st-century approach in most ways, but this nostalgic throwback to a simpler time is something we are very serious about reintroducing to the local news ecosystem.

And through a creative partnership with local sports organizations, we plan on doing so in a way that is not only more secure, more reliable and more fun — but also one that gives back to Canby athletics in a time when their fundraising efforts have been severely curtailed.

To make that happen, however…

We Need Your Help, Now.

For over two years, we have provided a free service to our community. On a shoestring budget, we have presented a product that we believe has consistently outshone our competitors in terms of timeliness, breadth, accuracy and balance.

We believe that local news is dying, not because it is not needed or people are not willing to support it, but because the means of creating are so often outdated and burdened with overhead that no longer makes sense in the modern world.

We have shown that with passion, drive and a little know-how, you can produce high-quality local news — without a publisher, general manager and editor-in-chief standing between journalists and the readers they serve.

Our revenue will not go to middle managers or corporate owners. It will go to the only thing we have ever spent money on: operations and equipment. It will go, eventually, to bringing back good jobs for reporters and photographers, chronicling life in Canby as only people invested in the community can.

At the same time, we have no desire to make the news a luxury item. We don’t believe in paywalls, period. When we launch, the Current will be available for free in many partnering businesses and neighborhoods, in stylish racks designed with the help of local graphic and custom-building experts.

But for those who can, we do ask that you please subscribe to our print edition. Even with our extremely lean approach, a print newspaper represents a roughly tenfold increase for our monthly overhead. Your support is the only way it will be possible.

At this point, we ask only that you take our 1 to 2-minute survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/canbysubscribe and indicate if you plan to subscribe when we launch. Your input will provide invaluable insight as we coordinate the logistics for this one-of-a-kind endeavor.

Thank you for your time and support, and all that you have given us over these past two years. With our lean, startup-style operations and dedication — and with your continued support — we believe we can produce a superior local news product that is sustainable for generations to come.

To hear the Tylers discussing this in greater detail, check out the final episode under the name Canby Now Podcast, “What In Pod’s Name”:

Help us build a sustainable news organization to serve Canby for generations to come! Let us know if you can support our efforts to launch a 21st-century newspaper today. #SwimWithTheCurrent!