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History of The Advertiser-Tribune

The Advertiser-Tribune can trace its roots to 1832, through the Seneca Advertiser and to its predecessor, the Seneca Patriot.

The Seneca Patriot was published first, on August 4, 1832. The Seneca Advertiser was a direct descendant. In those earlier years, the paper underwent a succession of editors and publishers.

On May 6, 1842, John G. Breslin issued his first edition of the Seneca Advertiser. Thereafter, publication was continuous, and for several years it was the only paper in Seneca County.

The press on which the Seneca Patriot and successors were printed was brought from beyond the Alleghenies to Washington, PA, around 1800. It was moved to various places in Virginia and Ohio by J. P. McArdle, who eventually located in Mt. Vernon, where he published the Register. The press next saw service in Clinton, and later in Norwalk and Sandusky, then Tiffin and later Toledo.

The style and contents of the old Seneca Patriot are of interest. In the early 1800's a newspaper served two purposes - as a political mouthpiece and as an advertising medium. The press was a wooden Ramage of the earliest type and if tradition told the truth, it was owned and worked by Benjamin Franklin.

When John G. Breslin purchased the Van Burenite, he revived the name Advertiser and published the first issue of the Advertiser on May 6, 1842.

The Advertiser became a daily newspaper May 3, 1886. During its long history, the Advertiser had many homes and several publishers.

In the early years of the Advertiser, it was pro-Democratic, and remained so until 1933, when it merged with its local rival, The Tiffin Tribune.

In 1845 a paper rivaling the Advertiser was the Whig Standard, which in 1855 became the Tiffin Tribune after the Whig party became the New Republican party.

In 1868, the Locke Brothers, Otis, C.N. and David, purchased the paper. The Tribune has fostered Republican policies since the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Through the years, the Advertiser and Tribune opposed each other editorially with vigor, particularly at election time.

Since the merger, The Advertiser-Tribune has maintained a nonpartisan policy.
The Tribune, wrote local historian Myron Barnes, also made significant contributions to Ohio journalism. The Locke brothers founded newspapers in Bucyrus, Plymouth, Findlay and Coshocton. David Ross Locke founded the Toledo Blade.

Both Tiffin newspapers advanced with the technical progress in newspaper production - electrically powered rotary presses, the Mergenthaler linotype, and in wireless transmission of information.

By 1925, the Duplex Tubular press was capable of printing 30,000 papers an hour. The 1910 flatbed press could produce only 2,000 papers an hour.

The two Tiffin newspapers merged, and on January 10, 1933, the first edition of The Advertiser-Tribune appeared.

E. Tappan Rodgers was president and general manager, Ivan R. Hesson from the Tribune was vice president and assistant business manager. The new paper was published in the building at 52 E. Market St., which Della Laird had built for the Tribune in 1924. Industrial Savings and Loan now occupies the site.

In 1968 Ivan Hesson died, and his sons David and Ivan Jr. took over.
In the summer of 1973, Buckner News Alliance (BNA) bought the Hesson interest. Philip Buckner, president of the BNA, accelerated the phase-out of the hot metal composition process and converted the newspaper to full electronic photo composition. During Buckner's brief tenure on the scene as publisher in the summer of 1973, the production process was fully converted to cold type. As changes continued, the need for a new plant became obvious. In October 1973, Buckner brought in David B. Martens as publisher. and his major task for the next several months involved planning and construction of the new plant.

Martens was succeeded as publisher by Kaj Spencer in the spring of 1978. Rick Bean became publisher of The Advertiser-Tribune in January 1983.

In September 1989, The Advertiser-Tribune launched a Sunday morning edition. The publication cycle was changed to mornings, seven days each week in April 1990. On October 1, 1993, Ogden Newspapers, Inc. (ONI), based in Wheeling, WV, purchased The Advertiser-Tribune. G. Ogden Nutting, president of ONI, continued the technological advancements in production of the newspaper.

John T. Elchert succeeded Bean as publisher in February 1994. The process to full pagination of the paper was completed in the summer of 1995. David A. Frisch became publisher of The Advertiser-Tribune in December of 1996. Chris Dixon became publisher of the Advertiser-Tribune in 2005.



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