Western Communications

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Western Communications, Inc. is an American newspaper publisher serving the states of Oregon and California. The family-owned[1] company is based in Bend, Oregon and was founded by Robert W. Chandler.[2] Its flagship paper is The Bulletin.[2]

Chandler, who bought the Bulletin in 1953, built the company up over the ensuing decades, prior to his death in 1996.[3] The company was recognized by an Oregon State University awards program in 1995, for an effective ownership transition from Chandler to his daughter, Elizabeth McCool, and for remaining actively engaged in its community. At the time, the chain consisted of eight papers and employed 300 people.[4] When the company bought The Redmond Spokesman from Mary Brown in 1955, it owned radio stations in Oregon and California.[5]

The company built a large headquarters building in Bend in 2000.[6] It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2011, seeking to renegotiate an $18 million loan, and hoping to complete the bankruptcy proceedings within six months.[7] In 2012, the company did emerge from bankruptcy,[6] but also laid off 10% of its staff, due to a sharp decline in advertising revenue from legal notices.[8] In 2017, it listed its headquarters building for sale, but no offer had been accepted as of January 2019, and the company had fallen behind on payments of state taxes. The debt the company owes is estimated at $26 million.[6] In January 2019, the company again filed for bankruptcy protection.[9]




  1. ^ Rafter, Michelle V. (January 31, 2009). "Good News for Small Papers". Oregon Business. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Our history". The Bulletin. Retrieved 2011-02-28.
  3. ^ "Obituary: Robert Chandler, Prominent Editor Of Small Ore., Calif. Newspapers". Seattle Times. July 13, 1996. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  4. ^ Leeson, Fred (November 12, 1995). "Awards Single Out Family Businesses". The Oregonian.
  5. ^ "Company Buys Weekly Paper". The Oregonian. July 2, 1971.
  6. ^ a b c Cureton, Emily (January 15, 2019). "Bend Bulletin Owners Behind On Taxes And Local News Coverage Hangs In The Balance". Oregon Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  7. ^ Nogueras, David (April 24, 2011). "Bend-Based Newspaper Chain Files Chapter 11". Oregon Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  8. ^ Nogueras, David (October 10, 2012). "Western Communications Cutting 10 Percent Of Staff". Oregon Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  9. ^ Cureton, Emily (January 22, 2019). "Bend Bulletin Owner Files For 2nd Bankruptcy In A Decade". Oregon Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 2019-01-23.

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