Goodbye and hello.
Today marks a big day for us at The Vindicator and a big day, we expect, for readers who have remained loyal to us over the years.
This is the day we say so long to a friend who’s been with us since December 1972 — our printing press.
Wednesday’s paper will be printed on our $10 million investment in the Valley — an explosive new publishing system that is state-of-the-art from the minute it leaves our computer screens until it reaches the trucks that deliver The Vindicator into your hands.
It’s been no small feat to get to this point. Years of patient planning and preparation quickly became months of mechanics and machining.
That has led to where we are now.
A press is a massive machine, for certain. But breathtaking is the humanity that flows through its ink veins and rolls off its sturdy iron shoulders every single day — over years and over decades. The old friend we say goodbye to today has brought life to nearly two generations of Valley residents.
It’s been measured in ways such as 11 million pages per week and 570 million pages per year.
It’s also measured by the front pages that stare back at us in the halls of The Vindicator and on the walls in your home.
Jobs lost, jobs found, presidents, sports championships, tornadoes, blizzards, tragic endings and triumphant beginnings.
That’s what a press does.
The friend we say goodbye to first rolled on Dec. 18, 1972. The headline atop the page was “Nixon renews air war on N. Vietnam.”
The local news on that day’s front page was a look at downtown Christmas shopping — with a Strouss’ boss saying sales were slowed by a storm, but still good. There was a story on a guy killed over a dice game on Marion Avenue. And there’s a story and photo of Vindicator Publisher William J. Brown showcasing the new paper just off of the new multimillion dollar press.
Well, 38 years and a few million dollars more, here we are again.
In humanizing the work of a press, the reality of its success is the people behind it.
A $10 million commitment from one company is news anywhere. We’ve seen hundreds of millions come in for GM Lordstown and for V&M Star Steel and so forth.
When you peel to the part of our story — that it is one local company and one local family — it is all the more remarkable. Local ownership is a lost commodity in today’s world. With our change tomorrow, we demonstrate that it still exists.
Underneath the local ownership is a team of co-workers that remains dedicated to traditions of community newspapering but also is poised to use the latest technologies to showcase the best and the most-important news in the Valley.
We’re also glad to have with us many loyal advertising clients who have recognized the quality vehicle we are for their message. They’ve been diligent and successful users of print media for years. They’ve stayed with us as our press has aged. We expect tomorrow they will be thrilled to be part of the new newspaper.
This all started in 1869.
Through the many decades, there have been many reinvestments and reinventions.
Tomorrow begins another one.
See you then.