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Canfield Fair, newspapers are long tradition

Of course the Canfield Fair has been my family’s late-summer tradition every single year for all the decades I’ve lived in the Mahoning Valley.

But this year, as I strolled past the grandstand, it felt different. That’s probably because this time I had come alone.

And I wasn’t immediately in search of a lemon shake.

Instead, I was heading toward my newspaper’s tent on the corner where The Vindicator tent has been located for as long as I could remember. I was going to spend some time there greeting our new readers and talking about the undertaking we were preparing to launch today — our first edition of the new Vindicator edition.

For nearly 25 years, I have worked at the Tribune Chronicle in various capacities, starting out as a freelance reporter. I’ve been editor here since 2014. During all these years, I have viewed The Vindicator as formidable competition. I read their pages with interest nearly every day, largely comparing Tribune Chronicle stories to their stories, searching for things they had covered but we did not, or better, stories we had that they did not.

Now, about 60 days after the initial shock of The Vindicator’s announced closure, suddenly there no longer is a “we” vs. “they.”

And this week as I breezed into the fair, I would be working for the first time ever in that corner tent with plastic orange tablecloths and a huge banner emblazoned, “The Vindicator edition.”

Yes, this trip to the fair was very different.

If you’re a subscriber, I’m sure you already know the Tribune Chronicle announced last month that we had purchased The Vindicator name, its subscriber list and the www.Vindy.com website domain. That announcement came more than a month after The Vindicator announced in late June that it would cease production Aug. 31.

A deal that sold the name and subscription list to the Tribune Chronicle was consummated just weeks ago.

During that brief time, we hired several reporters, page designers and sports writers. We contracted with several news, sports and feature correspondents and created plans for covering all the news, community features, local sports and so much more, after essentially doubling our current footprint size.

We have added more than 26,000 subscribers into our circulation system, and the circulation department has laid new delivery plans that included contracting in a matter of weeks with more than 100 of The Vindicator’s carriers and haulers.

So, if you’re reading this on Sunday morning (fingers crossed), all must have gone OK last night, as we produced the first of what we hope will be many, many Vindicator editions for years to come.

Please don’t be discouraged if your paper arrived late today, or if you find that some late news or sports scores are missing. With a full understanding of this new undertaking, we moved up our deadlines last night to give our pressroom and carriers more time to print and distribute your newspaper today. Rest assured, this is only temporary, and our deadlines will be relaxed a bit going forward.

Also, please don’t be discouraged by the low number of inserts and sales flers in today’s edition. As advertising print schedules are planned several weeks in advance, we were unable to secure many for today’s edition. We are working to return these sale inserts to the Sunday edition as soon as possible.

My staff and I are extremely excited to be able to bring you this new Vindicator edition of the Tribune Chronicle, and I look forward to getting to know many of you, our readers, going forward.

If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime. I try to be very accessible to readers.

And, by the way, I never did get my lemon shake. But there is still time since I plan to be back out at the fair today.

Linert is editor of the Tribune Chronicle and the newspaper’s new Vindicator edition.