Opinion: LTN owner says goodbye


By Kathryn Reed

Saying goodbye is never easy, but that’s exactly what I’m doing.

After nine years of owning/operating Lake Tahoe News, it is time to move on. This will be the last month of the news site (unless it sells – here is the listing).

The coverage will be sporadic until the end of the month.

LTN started on Labor Day 2009 with the Jaycee Lee Dugard parade. What an introduction.

Every day since then we have been providing a variety of news. We have broken a slew of stories, often being the only publication to write about a topic. We weren’t afraid to upset people, even advertisers. We were never bought by anyone. For our travel pieces we won multiple awards.

I’m proud to say we never charged for an obituary. We were innovative in how we eliminated the trolls by creating a policy to charge for comments – something I wish we’d done sooner. The nights when we picked who to endorse in the various political races were some of the best political discussions I’ve been involved in. Thank you to everyone who volunteered to be part of that important endeavor. The various series we did from the five-year anniversary of the 2007 Angora Fire, to South Lake Tahoe turning 50, to mental health, to looking at affordable housing in 2017 were accomplishments that everyone who was involved in them can look back on with pride. That is what true journalism is about.

So many of the stories we wrote were ideas provided by readers. You were wonderful sources. Some sent in tips, photos, asked about something that led to a story. It really was a group effort in so many ways.

It hasn’t just been hard news. We published incredible feature stories on people, places and organizations – with more to come this month. We tried to provide a mix of stories, to be a community newspaper – just online. I believe we achieved that goal.

I started Lake Tahoe News because I was frustrated with all the news I knew was not getting published and couldn’t imagine what I didn’t know that should see the light of day. This is an incredibly rich area for news. I was never at a loss for something to cover; just disappointed not to be able to get to everything. Before LTN I had been freelancing for publications like the Tahoe Mountain News, New York Times, Reuters and Sacramento Business Journal. This was after being fired as managing editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune because I wouldn’t blur the lines between advertising and editorial. I came to Tahoe from San Francisco where I had been an editor at the San Francisco Chronicle. The Trib was where I started my journalism career as a reporter out of college.

There are so many people who have made Lake Tahoe News what it is. If it weren’t for you readers, it wouldn’t matter what we do every day. You have kept me going on days when I was ready to chuck the computer out the window. You made me realize what we were doing was worth it, that it was important, that we were making a difference.

And while all of that is still true, it is time for me to move on, to explore new challenges, pursue new dreams. I’ve been in the news business since graduating from college 30 years ago; even before that if you count high school and college papers as well as summer internships. The grind, especially these last nine years of working every day, has me wanting and needing to take a break.

I know it’s always dangerous to start naming people because inevitably someone will be left out, but here goes. Sue Wood – thank you for being with LTN from the first story and to the end with more coming this month. Your words, counsel and support have been invaluable. Lisa Tolda was also there on Day 1, shooting the parade, and has been a stalwart supporter of true journalism; Kim Wyatt for endless conversations, being my go-to sounding board who talked me off the ledge so many times; Carolyn Wright for making me understand copyright law and upping the level of photography to a professionalism that is off the charts; Dave Gill for being my IT guru who saved me when the site had some serious technical troubles and who will be there until the end and beyond; Joann Eisenbrandt puts more time and research into a story compared to anyone I know; Jessie Marchesseau, Linda Conaboy and Terra Breeden who are still writing for LTN – covering a diverse lineup of stories that shows their range; Karen Kuentz who unfailingly provides the weekly pet of the week even when out of town; Anne Knowles was there early on, covering mostly Douglas County issues before getting a full-time job elsewhere; Kat Hill who covered the North Shore before buying her own publication; Pat Banner who from Washington state reads LTN after the fact for typos and other corrections; Lisa Huard for your stint at selling ads; Denise Haerr for taking photos when I couldn’t and providing so much cultural content; and the writing and photo interns who also taught me, with one being responsible for getting LTN on Instagram. I could go on and on about each person; they all deserve their own story about what they mean to me and the impact they’ve had on Lake Tahoe News.

I am so grateful to LTN’s advertisers. South Tahoe Refuse, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Lake Tahoe Community College, Barton Health and the city of South Lake Tahoe took a chance on Lake Tahoe News in 2009 when none of us was really sure what the news site was going to be. They have continued to support LTN to this day. There were plenty of other advertisers through the years – thank you.

And thank you to the many individuals who donated to LTN, especially to those who did so with commenting not being the reason to do so. Your support of community journalism is admirable.

While I move on, I hope the void created by Lake Tahoe News’ absence won’t last long. There needs to be a watch dog. Without an informed citizenry, we all lose. Public agencies need to be held accountable. The public should demand accurate, unbiased new coverage – not merely settling for press releases being regurgitated or stories that favor chamber-backed businesses. It takes time, work and money to put out a publication. Support the media you read by buying an ad or telling an advertiser you saw their ad. When you see that donate button, don’t ignore it; subscribe to publications, don’t just read the allotted number of free articles and move on until the next month.

I leave being proud of what I created with Lake Tahoe News. We made a difference. Thank you for being part of this incredible journey.



About author

This article was written by admin


Comments (39)
  1. Mansoor Elie Alyeshmerni says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    You indeed should be proud. The accuracy of reflecting on what happened in meetings is what first caught my attention and have read every issue.

    Thank you. Glad that the criticisms did not dissuade you.
    Wish you well moving forward.

  2. Laura Moriarty says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    We will miss you, Kae. Thanks for your creativity, diligence and heart in delivering quality journalism. Your experise and presence will cast a long shadow. Enjoy your life after LTN!

  3. Carl Ribaudo says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    Thank you!

  4. Jeanne Nelson says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    Thank you LTN for your reporting of news that creates public advocacy and awareness. Your special coverage of mental illness services and supports and gaps in our local community without bias have been greatly appreciated! I shall miss waking up every morning to the on-line LTN.
    Thank you for 9 years of public service with skill. Showing up to the plethora of meetings all around this rural community in snow or sunshine and reporting promptly and finding experienced journalists to keep this going for nearly a decade is something to feel proud of.
    Enjoy today and your next chapter!

  5. Lynne Brosch says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    LTN has been my go-to news source from the beginning. We will all miss you Kae but understand that there are other great things for you to pursue. I hope there will still be some kind of news operation to fill the void. Best wishes on your next adventure and thanks for all the years of great news coverage!!!

  6. Ron Turner says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    Kae – you have been my news connection since we moved to Mexico – thank you for being there! Can’t you continue but on a more limited basis so you may have a life too?

    Joyce Blackstone Turner

  7. Irish Wahini says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    LTN has been my “morning Joe” read for years… What will I do? It is so important to have coverage of what our City Leaders are doing (or not doing); to know about local issues and local events; fresh hiking news and opportunities, etc. I hope someone who has your curiosity and passion to uncover issues without fear, takes the helm of LTN. Our community needs the LTN…. Best wishes on your new endeavors!

  8. Gregory Crofton says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    Thanks Kae. Great work!

  9. Lisa Huard says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    Ugh. I knew this story was going to happen but I’m still trying to wrap my head and my heart around it. I was just always hoping that I’d be a very, very old woman reading my news from LTN knowing that the stories would be upfront, honest, and informative; a way I could know what was happening in my community each and everyday. Thank you so much for the MANY years of working on a day to day grind to provide such a wonderful platform. You should be very proud of what you accomplished. I know I’m proud of you. I can’t wait to see what you do next Kae. Whatever and wherever your journey takes you, I know that your writing passion will be shared.

  10. Lisa says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    What we will do without you! Read it every day without fail.

  11. Pamala says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    Great job Kae. I am proud of you for taking the step to take care of you. Follow your heart and dreams. We all know life is short.
    Love you! Pam

  12. Richard Fischer says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    Thanks for the important contribution you’ve made to our community. Since I started reading LTN in 2012 I’ve checked it out every day, even when traveling. I will miss the well rounded and up to date coverage. Be well and happy!! You deserve it.

  13. Cynthia M Trigg says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    You truly have made a difference. Those who care about their community will miss you! Thank you for the years of hard work.

  14. Roni Davis says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    Thanks for your courage, tenacity and laser focus on the news we need to know in this community.

  15. Reader From Day 1 says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    Thank you Kae for leading the way on what real reporting looks like. It’s obvious on every strory. We read LTN to get the details, in-depth information and what is being kept out of public view. The others just publish press releases, absolutely meaningless, or don’t understand journalism and just print what anyone says and read like gossip mags. LTNs reputation has been built on telling the story behind the scenes. You had the information some didn’t want told, some told to you and no one else, but everyone read. You took risks and took the resentment from those who’d rather hide the truth and hated it when LTN got it right. You stood up for our right to know. Tahoe is a place that is difficult in all aspects. We will miss LTN as the platform, but I am sure you’ll still be writing after a much needed break.

    I am sure we will see your byline in Tahoe, about Tahoe, and for Tahoeans, its in you. It’s needed.

  16. Kelly Shanahan says - Posted: July 2, 2018


    Thank you for your love of our community, for your courage in telling the truth through investigative reporting. LTN has been a part of my morning routine for the past 9 years, whether in town or on a trip across the world.

    I wish you all the best,


  17. Scott Ramirez says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    Thank you for being a good source for what is happening around Tahoe.

    Best wishes for your future endeavors!
    -Scott Ramirez

  18. Ike Marr says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    Ugh. This is bad for SLT. But I wish you all the best. Thanks for the great reporting and writing. I’ve read you from day 1.

  19. Linda P. Keel says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    Ditto, ditto, ditto to all of the above! Very best heartfelt wishes for your next ventures!!! I am most grateful for your efforts and publications!

  20. Cindy Beberg says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    You’ll be missed. Thanks.
    All the best on your new adventures.

  21. Ron Zehren says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    Never thought this would happen with you leaving LTN and all the wonderful news and events in our town.. Your reporting
    and writing kept Tahoe locals informed every day. Success in your new adventures ahead of you and thank you for being you.
    Tahoe will certainly miss you…
    Ron Zehren

  22. paige rice says - Posted: July 2, 2018


    Thank you for your dedication, inspiration and your consistent information flow with both the fun and hard facts. You endured the good, bad and ugly! You were always present and sharing the long drawn out meeting news to the fun events you happily enjoyed. Thank you Kae. May the “4th” be with you on your new adventures.

  23. Nancy Oliver Hayden says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    I will need to adjust my morning routine with no LTN to read. You have done a great job and provided an important service to the community. Now, go enjoy your next endeavor and keep in touch.

  24. Michael lee says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    Thanks Kae, your voice will be missed

  25. John Rice says - Posted: July 2, 2018


    Thanks for all the years of chasing the local stories, giving us something to read and ponder, or simply to balance against the rest of the news sources. I appreciate your courage and drive to get the online news out in a timely fashion. You have done well and deserve a break, wishing you the best in your next endeavor!

  26. Fred Gifford says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    It is with tears in my eyes that this is written. To find unbiased, non politically motivated reporting was such a treat especially on a local level. you will be more than missed by this subscriber. I wish you all the best in future ventures.

  27. Pat Banner says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    I just want to add my comments to the many above. You have been a blessing to Tahoe and you will be very much missed. But you deserve a break and I’m sure you’ll find something creative and satisfying to your adventuresome soul.
    You have kept me in touch with my beautiful Tahoe. For this I thank you with all my heart.

  28. Joy Curry says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    Kae, thank you for making my day for the last nine years. Reading LTN, has always kept us informed about all that is happening in the city and has given us the facts to have an open conservation with the citizens of Lake Tahoe. What will I do without your fabulous recipes. I have printed so many and they will always be a reminder of you and LTN. OUTSTANDING ACCOMPLISHMENT!

  29. Rick C says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    Owning a home in South Lake Tahoe but mainly living in the Bay Area, LTN was a lifeline….always looked forward to the topics you chose from council meetings to your favorite hikes and recipes….many bookmarked…your passion and fairness will be greatly missed…

  30. Maxine says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    Thank you for reporting the news all these years. I wish you all the best!

  31. Howie Nave says - Posted: July 2, 2018

    I’m bummed Kae. I know you mentioned this day would be coming soon but did it have to be now? Can’t you stay at least ’til the end of the year? I’m gonna miss doing the movie reviews for you it was always fun and you had the coolest graphics too. I hope you always keep that inquisitive mind of yours getting the story before anyone else did and with great accuracy too. Please stay in touch we’d all like to know how you’re doing wherever you go okay?

  32. Walter Reinthaler says - Posted: July 3, 2018

    Simply, thank you. Mornings will be forever changed.

  33. Denise Haerr says - Posted: July 3, 2018

    Like Howie, I knew this was coming but it doesn’t make it any easier. Since Day 1 of moving to South Lake Tahoe (c. 2012), LTN has been my source of all things great about why we moved here in the first place. I called it (and Kae) bmy conduit of fun, making certain I knew all that was happening so I wouldn’t miss ANYTHING.

    In dark times (any that drew me away from Tahoe like the sudden death of my father-in-law), LTN provided a lifeline back to Tahoe, tethering us when we were adrift.

    Kae, personally, provided me with such amazing opportunities, and for all of these gifts, I will be forever grateful.

    I am so excited for her future and I know in my heart of hearts this is not the last we’ve ‘read’ of Kae Reed.

  34. Kenny Skibum Curtzwiler says - Posted: July 3, 2018

    Hard charging and full speed ahead Kae. Great times are ahead in your next adventure. Kenny

  35. Bruce Eisner says - Posted: July 5, 2018

    Kae- looking forward to hearing about your next adventures in life. Thanks for being an alternative news source for the community. Bruce

  36. Jim Marino says - Posted: July 5, 2018

    Kae, we have always appreciated your candor and to the point news. Sad to see you walking away, but I’m sure it will bring you some peace. Enjoy your next adventure.

  37. Julie Threewit says - Posted: July 6, 2018

    Happy trails Kae. Well done.

  38. Marc Ockerman says - Posted: July 6, 2018

    Thanks Kae!!! ?

  39. Carla Ennis says - Posted: July 9, 2018

    Hi Kae,

    From time to time when reading the LTN I would wonder where I would get local news without this website. Now I will get to find out. So much local “stuff” would likely never come to light without your reporting. Thank you for years of good reporting. You will be missed.