Chronicle staff 2017-01-15_MG_2067
Local News

Growth proves H-F Chronicle is a hit with community

If numbers tell the story, the Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle has proven to be a hit from the start.

The Chronicle, a hyperlocal paper published online daily since June 2014 and in print monthly since December 2015, is reaching some readers for the first time with its February issue. Delivered by mail to every house in the two towns for the first time, the paper is nearly tripling its circulation, from 5,500 in 2016 to 14,000 in 2017.

  The Chronicle staff, from left, Tom Houlihan, Patty 
  Houlihan, Eric Crump and Marilyn Thomas.
(Photo 
  by Colin Thomas/Thomas Photographic Services)

 

If numbers tell the story, the Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle has proven to be a hit from the start.

The Chronicle, a hyperlocal paper published online daily since June 2014 and in print monthly since December 2015, is reaching some readers for the first time with its February issue. Delivered by mail to every house in the two towns for the first time, the paper is nearly tripling its circulation, from 5,500 in 2016 to 14,000 in 2017.

Stories posted daily on hfchronicle.com are reaching even more readers. In 2016 some headlines drew nearly 30,000 views.

And so many local business owners placed ads after print circulation expanded that the current issue had to be increased in size to include all 50 ads.

“We are so glad to provide news for the community and to see people are reading the paper,” said founding editor Eric Crump, who launched the Chronicle as an online publication covering Homewood in 2014. He was soon joined by veteran community journalists Marilyn Thomas of Homewood and Tom Houlihan of Flossmoor, and the paper expanded coverage to include both communities. 

The three owners volunteer their skills in covering local government, community activities, business openings and crime news to produce dozens of stories every month that appear on hfchronicle.com. They also produce additional features, profiles and columns for the monthly print issue.

Statistics show the paper’s online edition became an increasingly important source for local daily news last year. In 2016, the number of people who turned to hfchronicle.com doubled from 2015, from 228,121 to 493,338.

The top story in daily online coverage in 2016, “H-F High School Principal’s contract terminated,” received 28,467 views of which 13,130 were unique when it ran on June 23. 

The story, “Downtown Flossmoor shooting leads to charges against Indiana man,” which ran online on  Sept. 4, received 26,801 views of which 10,731 were unique.

And the story “Community rallies around Homewood business after misfortunes push it to the brink,” received 11,995 views of which 6,843 were unique, when it ran online on Feb. 28.

“The Chronicle is the only paper providing comprehensive coverage every day for the H-F community, and its appeal is growing,” said public outreach manager Patty Houlihan.

“The advertising makes it possible for us to print and distribute it to every house by mail,” she said. “Thanks to the increasing support of area business owners, Homewood and Flossmoor have a local newspaper again. We could not do it without them.”

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