Sun-Telegraph turns another page in its history

 


Today marks the end of another chapter in the story of the Sidney Sun-Telegraph. Since 1873, the newspaper has served Sidney and the surrounding communities in one form or another.

That will continue, albeit in a new format. As announced by owner Gary Stevenson in an editorial almost a month ago, the Sun-Telegraph will begin publishing twice a week, and today’s edition is the last daily newspaper. The next chapter, beginning with the next newspaper readers see, begins Wednesday, Oct. 5.

As Stevenson explained at that time, the decision to move away from daily publishing was a decision that was “desperately difficult.”

It took a lot of looking at the numbers – circulation, staffing, advertising income and other factors – before the Stevensons made the very difficult to decision to make the change from publishing a daily to the twice a week format.

While the change has come as somewhat a shock to some readers, particularly those of the past 15 years or so who only know the paper as a daily, the move takes the Sun-Telegraph back to its roots as a community newspaper. For most of its life the newspaper, at least in relation to the “Telegraph” moniker, has been published less than weekly.


Dating back to its origins, the Telegraph was a weekly. It has also been published twice a week, and when it was last published as “The Sidney Telegraph,” the paper was a tri-weekly, publishing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, before being purchased by the competing Sidney Daily Sun, when it became the Sun-Telegraph.

The tri-weekly Sidney Telegraph is where the newly-appointed Sun-Telegraph publisher, Don Ogle, who has served as the paper’s editor for the past five months, began his newspaper and public relations career more than 30 years ago.

Ogle said his fond memories of that beginning, and its format, make the change “a sort of homecoming.”

“We had a similar sized staff, and a similar vision to what we want the Sun-Telegraph to become,” Ogle said. “My dream, and I think the wish of our owners, is for the newspaper to provide the best local coverage possible. Over the past few months we’ve realized, painfully, how inadequate the operation is for daily publication, and we’re working hard to overcome that.”

Returning to that locally-based coverage is something Ogle said he is dedicated to accomplish. It’s also a focus Stevenson outlined in his announcement at the beginning of the month.

“The true value of a community newspaper is community news. With our small size it has been quite difficult to produce the quality of product this community deserves. Going to a twice-weekly publication will enable us to shift focus emphasizing local content – the content that sets us apart from any other medium.”


 

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