Newspaper memories: Phil Roberts remembers merging rivals was a big challenge


By Phil Roberts - Guest columnist



Former publisher Phil Roberts is shown during a recent visit to the offices of The Times-Gazette.

Former publisher Phil Roberts is shown during a recent visit to the offices of The Times-Gazette.


I was very fortunate to spend over 40 years in the printing and graphic arts industry, of which 24 years were spent in the newspaper business. My career started by obtaining a degree in graphic arts and printing at Morehead State University.

From there, I worked at Rotary Forms in Hillsboro and Greenfield Printing and MooreAdcrafters in WCH. I took on a new six-year challenge in 1972 by accepting a teaching job with Columbus Public Schools, teaching graphic arts at the Fort Hayes vocational school

In 1978 I moved my family back to Hillsboro and took on a monumental challenge of starting a career in the newspaper industry by starting “The County Shopper.” After six years of ownership of the County Shopper I sold my paper to Brown Publishing.

In 1986, Brown Publishing purchased the Press Gazette, and I was challenged to merge both the Press Gazette and the County Shopper. These publications were highly competitive rivals and needed to be combined as one working unit.

At this time in my career I had to learn an entirely new occupation style by dealing with an editorial content publication. The County Shopper was an advertising only-based publication. By merging these two publications, Brown Publishing saw a lot of growth happening in the community.

In 1996, the merger between the Press Gazette and the Greenfield Times was formed. Still another new challenge to solve. At that, the name of the Press Gazette was changed to “The Times-Gazette.”

Over the years I was fortunate to work with many fine employees with the Press Gazette, County Shopper and The Times-Gazette. I was fortunate to associate with many, many local advertising customers in the area, as well as many corporate customers. I was very fortunate to have known many publishers through the state by being a member of the Ohio League Dailies and Buckeye Press.

As I look back on my career, I have to mention a few individuals I worked with. Number one on my list would be Paul Miller, who worked with me at the County Shopper for many years. I would have to mention Clarence Graham, publisher of the Wilmington News Journal, whom I always consulted on editorial questions. I also must mention Mark Policinski, president of Brown Publishing.

And last but not least was the support I received from my sister, Sally Sanders, during the early years of the County Shopper. I would like to thank my wife, Carol Roberts, for all the help in making critical business decisions and moral support. Thank you, Marvin Wilson and Brady Green. Thank you, Rory Ryan.

Congratulations to The Times-Gazette and all its predecessors for 200 years of serving Highland County.

Phil Roberts was publisher of The Times-Gazette from 1986-2002.

Former publisher Phil Roberts is shown during a recent visit to the offices of The Times-Gazette.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2018/06/web1_Roberts-Phil.jpgFormer publisher Phil Roberts is shown during a recent visit to the offices of The Times-Gazette.

By Phil Roberts

Guest columnist