Work at The Powell Tribune: past, press, redesign
One of The Tribunes additions from the archives of 1960.
One of The Tribune’s additions from the archives of 1960.
Caitlin Belmont

Local newspaper, The Powell Tribune, has been a family-owned business for six decades. Bringing the town together to know one another is a passion for the workers.

“My brother Brad, sister Shelby, and I purchased the Tribune from my father Dave in 2001, after the passing of my mother Diane,” co-owner, General Manager and Multi-media Sales Consultant Mr. Toby Bonner said. “I’ve been with the Tribune full-time since 1996. The Bonner family has owned the Powell Tribune since January of 1964. I’ve spent my entire life in one capacity or another here at the paper.”

The Tribune has been a staple to Powell for over a century.

“The Powell Tribune is older than the Town of Powell,” publisher, owner, and Editor Mr. Dave Bonner said. “The first issue of The Powell Tribune hit the streets on a blustery March 12, 1909, when Powell had a population of only about 20 residents.  The Town of Powell wasn’t organized under Wyoming law until May of 1909.”

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Mr. Dave Bonner has been with the newspaper since 1962 and is well acquainted with the birthing of The Powell Tribune.

“The first publisher [of] the Powell Tribune was S.A. Nelson, then publisher also of the Cody Enterprise,” Mr. D. Bonner said. “He would ride the train to Powell each week to sell advertising and gather news of Powell, then take the train back to Cody to prepare and print the paper. Next week when he rode the train to Powell, he brought the Tribune for distribution to Powell readers. He had a vision for what Powell could become.”

The Powell Tribune is going over ideas for a redesign of the paper. With new inspiration, little adjustments are all the design staff is looking for.

“We believe it’s important to give the pages of the Tribune a re-design to best serve our reader audience,” Mr. T. Bonner said. “The proposed changes are not drastic, but a freshening of the current design.” 

We believe it’s important to give the pages of the Tribune a re-design to best serve our reader audience. The proposed changes are not drastic, but a freshening of the current design.” 

— Mr. T. Bonner

In the recent season, an educational meeting was held which brought the topic of change.

“As a team, our staff has been working on revamps to the pages for a couple of months,” Mr. T. Bonner said. “It began following a February webinar with a professional newspaper designer from Tennessee. It was recommended by him to also bring in members of the community for a focus group session to request their input on our proposed changes. Following last week’s focus group, we’re tabulating the responses and making decisions on changes based on the consensus.”

With new stories made every week, work at The Tribune can be exciting. Different jobs call for different experiences.

“I think the best thing about working at the Tribune is that no one day is the same and it is truly a community-focused paper,” Education reporter Mr. Braden Schiller said. “All stories, are published with the community in mind. On another level the paper itself is a community and that makes work enjoyable every day… I get the honor of being involved with Powell schools daily and talking with a wide variety of students. I am always amazed by what the students, districts, and teachers accomplish, and am grateful that you all have invited me into your community.” 

Others describe their joy when dealing with the papers themselves.

“My favorite part about working at The Tribune is that twice-weekly we get to develop and deliver an award-winning product to our subscribers and reader audience,” Mr.T. Bonner said. “I was an art major in college. I think of our works designing pages for our readers similarly to creating works of art. Our weekly schedule may be the same week in and out, but we’re creating new works of art each edition.”

The craft of making the paper can be a tedious task, but it won’t go unnoticed by the consumers. 

“The Tribune’s [past] look is strong, but it’s important not to rest on that strength but work to improve it,” Mr. T. Bonner said. “Our readers deserve that.”

The refresh is currently out, with simple style changes on headlines to make a fresh paper.

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