30 years? No way!

Looking back at the CN&R’s improbable success

On Aug. 30, 1977, when the staff of the Chico News & Review published their first issue, they didn’t have much time to reflect on the impossibility of the endeavor. They had another issue to produce—in just two days.

That’s because its predecessor, the Wildcat student newspaper at Chico State, came out twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the CN&R was continuing that schedule. (It did so for two years.) Aug. 30 was a Tuesday.

Had they stopped to think about it and been reasonable people, they might have given up on the spot. The odds were against them. They had no money. No bank would lend to them. They couldn’t afford to pay anybody at first. Almost everybody thought it would fail.

But the paper’s founders weren’t interested in being reasonable. They knew it had a role to play and Chico was ripe for another voice. Most important, they were passionate about it in ways that had nothing to do with money.

So here we are, 30 years later, still producing this journal of life in Chico and the North State, and still feeling passionate about it. It’s been quite a journey, and we’re celebrating by offering a three-part retrospective.

In the first we present some of the more memorable issues and cover stories we’ve published. The second is a series of short portraits of some of the people in the community who’ve shared our journey in their own ways. And, in the third, we finally reveal the true identity of Juan-Carlos Selznick, who has been reviewing movies for 29 of our 30 years.

Thanks to our many advertisers over the years for having faith in us, and to our readers for caring about the paper and trusting it to help them understand, enjoy and improve this community we all love.