Michael Wagar Named Chronicle Publisher, President of Lafromboise Communications


Departure: Company Owner Thanks Christine Fossett for Service to Company as She Resigns Position 

By The Chronicle

After 30 years at The Chronicle and more than six years as publisher of The Chronicle and president of Lafromboise Communications, Christine Fossett said goodbye to the newspaper this week as Michael Wagar prepared to take her place at the organization’s helm.

Fossett resigned as of Friday. Lafromboise Communications owner Jenifer Lafromboise Falcon wished Fossett well in her future endeavors. 

"Today is a very tough day for myself, our employees and of course, Christine,” Lafromboise Falcon said in a statement. “She was an excellent leader and did her very best for Lafromboise Communications, her staff and the community. I appreciate everything she's contributed to LCI.”

Wagar was most recently publisher of the Nisqually Valley News and regional executive editor of that newspaper, The Chronicle and the The Reflector in Battle Ground. All three newspapers are owned by Lafromboise Communications. 

“I am humbled and honored to join the great past presidents of Lafromboise Communications, Inc., specifically Denny Waller who hired me originally, and Christine Fossett who rehired me after I took a break from the newspaper industry for a few years,” Wagar said. “I met with staff today and I was moved by their dedication to this newspaper and this community.”

Wagar is a C.B. Blethen Memorial Award-winning reporter and incoming president of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. He started at The Chronicle in 2001 as executive managing editor and led the newsroom during its important and difficult coverage of the 2007 flood. 

His time as editor of The Chronicle coincided with dozens of awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and several C.B. Blethen Memorial Awards for distinguished reporting. 

“My mother, Jeri Lafromboise, and Michael had a wonderful working relationship. She often was seen ‘making rounds’ throughout the The Chronicle building chatting with staff about what was going on that day, what they were working on and how their families were doing,” Lafromboise Falcon said. “I remember her sharing with me that she always loved her conversations with Michael. It helped her feel connected to the community. She would be very pleased to know that Michael is leading this team." 

Lafromboise Falcon recalled fondly one of her first conversations with Fossett in 2005 and said she will miss working together in the future. 

“I had just completed my MBA from Pepperdine and had just started working at the newspaper,” she said. “One of the first goals I wanted to accomplish was to sit down with our managers, to get to know them and see what their vision was for their departments. At our lunch, Christine had so many fresh and exciting ideas, not only about her division, but for the entire company.  I knew right away what a special person she was.”

Lafromboise Falcon assumed ownership of the company from her mother, Jeri Lafromboise, in early 2013. She took over as chairman of the board when her mother retired from the role in early 2012.

She said Wagar has her full confidence. 

“He promises to have an open door and an open mind as we refine what we do best — provide quality journalism and a quality staff that is also dedicated to our task,” she said.