The Logan County Area Chamber of Commerce would like to recognize the Bellefontaine Examiner as January’s Business/Entrepreneur of the Month.
T.J., left, and Jon Hubbard stand in front of a photograph of the late T.E. "Tom" Hubbard, former publisher/owner of the Bellefontaine Examiner.
The first edition of the Examiner was printed Dec. 14, 1891, and has been published continuously since that day, with the exception of minor single-copy disruptions caused only by inclement weather. First established by brothers Edwin “E.O.” and Horace “H.K.” Hubbard, the newspaper was intended as an independent daily edition of the Democratic Weekly Examiner, started in 1871. The Weekly Examiner had been published by their father, Thomas A. Hubbard, a West Liberty area native, since he and his brother, William Hubbard returned from the Dayton area in 1868.
Today the paper is owned by Janet Hubbard, who started in the family business in 1944. She continues to operate the business with the assistance of her son, Jon Hubbard, vice president, who started in 1968, and her grandson, T.J. Hubbard, general manager, who joined the business in 2005. Janet was one of the first female sports writers in Ohio. Mrs. Hubbard took over for her future husband, Tom, who was drafted into the U.S. Navy at age 37 to serve as a gunner aboard the USS Core during WWII. Mrs. Hubbard learned to cover sports, take stats from Hall of Fame Dodgers coach Walter Alston, who coached/taught at Washington Local H.S. in the 1940s. Tom is a son of nationally-acclaimed humorist Frank McKinney “Kin” Hubbard, who created the Abe Martin character and was a former owner of the paper along with several siblings.
The Examiner has kept abreast of technological advances, and moved from a 16-page Duplex tubular plate press to pouring hot lead to make cylindrical plates, and moving to a high-speed Rockwell offset press until modern cost concerns led the paper's owners to begin printing the daily product off site.
Traffic on the Examiner's website, www.examiner.org, has grown steadily over the past several years and now receives more than 10 million pageviews annually.
The Examiner has many key employees that are no relation to the Hubbard family. Those employees include: Miriam Baier, editor, 1979; Diane Lewis, classified advertising manager, 1982; Jill Thomas, circulation manager, 1982; Steve Smith, production/IT/lead graphic artist, 1998; Matt Hammond, sports editor, 1998; and Bob Chapman, advertising director, 2001.
In addition to the daily newspaper, the Examiner also provides an online edition and print/online advertising options for local businesses, special advertising supplements, web design, and promotional advertising including cups, pens, yard signs, and more. They also offer high-tech marketing tools for their customers. They believe their “high touch” approach of doing business, dedicated employees and delivery carriers — past and present — and long connection with the community are among their core strengths.
The Examiner has been recognized, annually, by Ohio Newspaper Association for news/sports writing and, in 2006, received the First Families of Ohio Newspapers award for distinguished service and family dedication to community journalism.
“The best way to boom a town is for the citizens to support a daily newspaper. No good, live town is complete without one,” an excerpt from the Examiner’s 120th anniversary edition read, and the Examiner feels the same about the Logan County Area Chamber of Commerce.
For more information regarding the Examiner contact them at 592-3060 or visit their web site at www.examiner.org. Also, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.