It’s hard to believe but, as this paper was rolling off the presses, our newsroom had a little chance to celebrate a milestone. On Thursday, Dec. 3, the Observer turned 40 years old. In an era that’s peppered with news about press closures and the bleak future of printed news, we feel those four decades of news coverage is a significant achievement.
We also feel that we’re just getting started.
We are currently working on a year-end issue to celebrate our 40 years of Southington history. So, for now, we’ll just enjoy the birthday celebration.
Since the first Southington Observer rolled off the press on Dec. 3, 1975, the paper has been playing an active role in Southington politics, business, and community life.
“Local news will be The Observer’s heartbeat,” we championed in a front page editorial in our first edition. For four decades we have lived up to that challenge.
We’ve all heard pundits lament the dark future of newsprint and the troubles faced by newspapers across the country, but that isn’t the story at our office on Spring Street. While other papers have been streamlining and downsizing, we have been focused on growth and the future.
Under our new ownership, the Observer has thrived in recent years, turning a flagging paid subscription into a town-wide circulation. In the new millennium, we’ve re-designed our look. We’ve reinvested in our coverage, and we’ve expanded our reach into every household in town through weekly mail delivery. While other papers have been downsizing, we’ve added new editions in Bristol and Plainville.
In recent years, most of the regional printing presses have closed and newspaper printing has been out-sourced to factories out of state. Southington is home to one of only a handful of presses left in the state. We are the only local paper (daily or weekly) that’s printed right here in town, and the Observer is the last newspaper in the apple valley that’s still printed in Connecticut with Connecticut workers.
That’s not all. In the last decade, we’ve added a new tensor (which brings our readers more color pages). We’ve invested in state-of-the-art technology that allows us to digitally lay out the paper and transform it to plates for printing. We’ve added a second shift to man the presses, and our printing has expanded beyond the Observer to include a number of regional papers, college course catalogues, and scores of other commercial printing jobs. The new technology has allowed us to build an award-winning press, right here in town, that has garnered attention in our industry.
We have the trophies to prove it.
After 40 years, we are still proud to be a member of this community. We’ve championed local businesses, offered a place to advertise, and have remained active and responsible with our community coverage. Our reporting has even spilled onto the internet where our Facebook page and our website (www.SouthingtonObserver.com) have enabled us to reach the community even faster and better as we stay poised for even more multi-media coverage in the coming years.
It has been a privilege to be a part of the Southington community, a proud member of the local chamber of commerce, and a true hometown business.
Here’s to another 40 years…