Bill Says

This is a tough one—bittersweet.

We knew it was coming for a long time, and even though we’re fully prepared for it, it’s still sad since it marks the end of a long chapter in my life and the lives of many others who spent considerable amounts of time trying to make this the best publication it could be.

Virtually no one thought this would last. I think the only one who did was Paula—she knew I was crazy enough to pull it off. Odds were against it from the start. I was 22 year old Chico State student in 1994 with zero experience actually running a business. I started this thing in a spare room in an apartment on 4th Avenue with a Visa card. There was a great music scene in Chico in the mid-’90s, and with so much going on that no one was talking about I saw it as an opportunity to do the two things I really wanted to do, which were writing and photography. 15 years of writing a weekly column in this paper was at times a daunting task that I often dreaded, but after a 6 year sabbatical from writing in these pages I’m glad to be back to put this thing to rest on our terms.

It took me places I never thought I would go, I’m glad some of you were along the for the ride at various points along the journey.

We were considered DOA the first week we hit the streets.

it’s been 21 years now. Chico, you’ve been (mostly) good. Just kidding, you’ve actually been great.

There will only be two more issues of the Synthesis Weekly.

To my wife and children—I love you all and appreciate every single bit of everything. Thank you.

To my all of my co-workers ever who stood by and helped make this all happen—thank you.

It’s been a great run, and to anyone and everyone who ever read and enjoyed anything we’ve ever published—thank you.

To the hundreds of writers, artists, bands, musicians, and photographers we’ve had either contribute or featured over the last two decades—thank you.

To the advertisers who supported us—thank you.

None of this could have been possible without all of this.

I’m proud that this was a part of a lot of people’s lives and memories.

There’s been a lot of dedication to this from a lot of people and I can’t possibly begin to explain just how amazing that feels.

So many people have been a big part of this. I honestly wouldn’t even know where to begin.

Matt Hogan—I miss you and wish you were still here. Your wisdom and humor and talent can never be replaced.

This newspaper has become roughly 1% of what we do now. Most people don’t realize that we’ve spearheaded social media and online marketing campaigns for companies ranging from Caesar’s Palace to Cirque du Soleil to The Weinstein Company. The vast majority of people under our roof have been focusing on other endeavors (curious? Visit, and and it’s been a blast growing those entities over the last few years. Lots of people don’t realize that the Life in Chico Facebook page ( and the @ChicoCalifornia Twitter account ( belong to us (well, maybe anyway), so despite the fact that we’re literally stopping the presses in two more weeks we’ll still be around digitally care-taking things to a point.

I’ve had close friends and family ask me “Why are you still doing that newspaper? You don’t even work on it anymore,” to which I jokingly reply something along the lines of “Look, it’s like my adult child that still lives at home, as long as it’s not costing me too much money I don’t mind but I occasionally get irritated when said adult child drinks all my beer and eats my cold pizza,” and then generally follow up with the actual non-joking response of “as long as I have people who love putting it together, people who love contributing to it, people who read it and as long as it can keep its existing ad line I’ll keep it open.”

Over the course of the last 21 years we made a lot of friends (some better than others) and seriously pissed off at least 7 people (maybe 8, I lost count).

We were scapegoated by some despite constantly donating space to countless non-profits, schools, music, arts and community organizations.

We battled back and forth with the CNR. A lot. Let’s face it, a nemesis is a good thing. Every superhero needs one. I’m sure they’re gloating at the news that we’re finally stopping the presses. Relish in this now, enjoy it. Pop a bottle. Cheers. Try and evolve, because you’re not far behind.

It’s been fun. Next two weeks we’ll reflect, have some fun with it, hopefully bring back some old voices and take some time to remember.

Thanks for reading and thanks for everything,

– @BillFishkin