Synthesis free weekly paper to end 21-year run

Mar 17, 2015 6:49 PM by Brian Johnson

After 21 years of providing free weekly arts and entertainment news, Chico's Synthesis paper will have its last issue printed this month.

It's fitting that SynMedia's Chico office is right next door to a music school, because their long-time weekly publication, Synthesis, has always been about the music.

It's what came to mind when we asked SynMedia's Karen Potter what her favorite thing about Synthesis is, and what she said the paper's roots are.

"I mean the music side of things," said Potter. "I mean the list of bands that we've interviewed, and the writers that we've gotten to work with..."

It's been 21 years Chico State student Bill Fishkin started Synthesis with, as he puts it, a spare room and a Visa card.

Through thick and thin, it survived, and always offered an alternative to the Chico News and Review, said Potter, who's worked for Bill since her college days.

"Twenty one years is a really good run for print and I think it definitely outlived what he originally anticipated," Potter said.

It's the end of an era, she said, and we just so happen to be in an era of dying print publications, especially free ones with rising costs and falling readership.

But, she said, it's not like SynMedia, the social media and web development agency that is now Bill's primary focus, is going to lay off a bunch of people.

Its three core contributors already work for the agency, Potter said.

"You're not going to see much of a change," she said. "The weekly has really been probably less than five percent of our business. Our main focus is SynMedia, which is our agency..."

SynMedia is an agency that now has bigger fish to fry, and newer things to try, like an app called neighbrhds.

But for anyone out there that will miss that special issue of Synthesis, Potter recommends checking out the Life in Chico, CA Facebook page, because that's here to stay.


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