In this age of digital media, Lake Forest’s David Sweet launches The North Shore Weekend and reminds us of the beauty of the printed word.
Last month, North Shore residents received a surprise in their mailbox—the first edition of The North Shore Weekend, a weekly newspaper delivered to more than 40,000 homes and businesses along the shore of Lake Michigan. The North Shore Weekend is the newest offering from JWC Media, publisher of Forest & Bluff, Sheridan Road, and Hinsdale Living magazines. Lake Forest’s David Sweet is Editor in Chief.
“The most exciting part of this new venture is that nothing like this, a newspaper covering the North Shore, has been done yet,” explains David, a Lake Forest native who has had an impressive media career from coast to coast, covering news, sports, business, and other topics for the Los Angeles Times, NBCSports.com, and The Wall Street Journal Online before returning to Lake Forest nine years ago. “The North Shore Weekend has been designed for a leisurely read, from a comfortable chair, where the focus is on features, profiles, and big-picture stories,” he adds.
Some may scratch their heads at the idea of launching a newspaper in a time when many have gone out of business. “Newspapers have gone through a lot and I’ve seen it up close,” David says. “I remember in 1990 meeting with my boss so that he could tell me about an award that I’d won. In that same meeting, he said we were all taking pay cuts,” he says. “It’s not like any of this is new.
“The key for me is whether a newspaper is telling stories, interesting stories, well-written stories that people want to read. I’m a fan of features and profiles and all these types of pieces that take time. I enjoy the research and interviewing people and putting together a great piece that people will read from start to finish,” he says. An adjunct professor at Lake Forest College for three semesters, David imparted this same wisdom on his students.
The North Shore Weekend is a hybrid of a newspaper and magazine. Each week, readers can count on interesting profiles of North Shore residents, along with coverage of local school and sporting events, real estate, and entertainment. The North Shore Weekend also has access to The New Yorker cartoon bank. These cartoons, along with strong editorial photography, will be sprinkled throughout the publication for added color.
“The North Shore is filled with people who have compelling stories to tell, who are often quiet about sharing them,” says David, who will write a standing column called “Sunday Breakfast,” where he’ll sit down with one of these individuals and chronicle his or her tale.
“When USA Today was created 30 years ago, it was developed with television in mind—the paper was meant to be skimmed,” David explains. “The North Shore Weekend is the opposite of that. We aren’t a newspaper that will react to stories. We’ll identify important stories and write about them.” David is leading a staff of writers experienced in scouting these types of articles, most notably Kevin Reiterman, a longtime sports editor, and Bill McLean, an award-winning features writer. Additionally, Jim Prisching, the features photographer for The North Shore Weekend’s sister publications, has assumed the role as the newspaper’s Director of Photography.
David’s love for the North Shore makes him the natural choice to lead The North Shore Weekend’s team. He, his wife Tricia (Director of Programming and Marketing for Gorton Community Center), and three children are proud to call Lake Forest home. “Tricia jokes that she came to Chicago kicking and screaming,” says David of his wife who grew up in Connecticut. “But she says she would leave Lake Forest the very same way.”
As David and his team create a new place for newspaper in a world that is overcrowded with digital media, his passion for the printed word remains steadfast. “I love to read—it’s such a joy in my life. So many people don’t have time for it or don’t have the proper publication. But my goal is that The North Shore Weekend is something they want to make time for—something they will really enjoy reading.”
Watch your mailboxes for The North Shore Weekend every Friday. If you have ideas you’d like to share with David Sweet, email