125-year-old Tavistock Gazette acquired
By Stewart Grant
Earlier this year, I was approached by Bill and Sheri Gladding of Tavistock as to whether I would be interested in buying the Tavistock Gazette, and I’m pleased to announce that we completed this transaction effective July 1st.
The Gazette, which was first published in 1895, has been in the Gladding family for 51 years. Bill and Sheri purchased the business from Bill’s parents, Bob and Doris Gladding, on March 4, 1988, and have operated the Gazette for the past 32 years, longer than any other owners in the newspaper’s 125-year history.
Bill will continue in his role of reporting on local news stories in Tavistock, but is pleased to remove the administrative duties of the Gazette from his plate. He and Sheri look forward to having additional free time to spend with their family, including four grandchildren.
For the team at the St. Marys Independent, the acquisition of the Tavistock Gazette is a great opportunity. Already through our experience in getting to know Bill, we are learning things that we can apply to the Independent to make our St. Marys paper better for you, our readers. Bill is exceptionally talented not only as a journalist, but as a graphic designer and as an artist. There are positive aspects of the Gazette that we’d like to bring to the Independent, and similarly there are elements of the Independent which will help improve the Gazette. Our graphic designer Tyler Carruthers will be doing the layout for both the Independent and the Gazette beginning this month.
Over a period of decades, the Gazette has also built up a solid professional printing business. This provides us with the opportunity to super-charge what we started a couple of years ago with our printing business, INDY Office and Print. Maggie Richardson will split her time between St. Marys and Tavistock in handling this part of the operation.
For me, it is kind of ironic to buy the Tavistock paper since this is the town where I got my start in journalism. In 2005, I signed up for the World Crokinole Championships (held every year in Tavistock) and asked the St. Marys Journal Argus if I could write a guest article talking about the experience. The article that I wrote, “In search of crokinole immortality”, was the first time I’d been published. It was nine years later that I’d have the opportunity to buy the St. Marys Independent.
The most meaningful part of this acquisition for me is to protect this 125-year newspaper for the community of Tavistock by keeping it an independently-owned newspaper. In St. Marys, we know the importance of this having seen the 164-year-old Journal Argus abruptly closed on November 27, 2017. In other nearby communities, they’ve seen their once-proud newspapers become shells of their former selves after being sold to corporate interests.
The St. Marys Independent and Tavistock Gazette continue to cover the local news in a meaningful way not only because they have stayed independent, but because they are in great communities that continue to support their newspapers. To all of our readers and our advertisers, thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to provide this service each week to the community.