OHIO VALLEY — Change comes for everyone and everything that continues to grow.
On Saturday, the press at Ohio Valley Publishing (OVP), which has printed the news in Gallia, Meigs and Mason counties for over 50 years, printed its last editions at the production facility in Gallipolis. Though this means the Gallipolis Daily Tribune, The Daily Sentinel, Sunday Times-Sentinel and Point Pleasant Register, will no longer be printed on a press in Gallipolis, they will still be printed and delivered as always – that did not change. In fact, all this week, readers have already been receiving newspapers which were printed elsewhere, specifically at the production facility of the Athens Messenger in Athens, Ohio.
Bud Hunt, regional vice president and group publisher for AIM Media Midwest wanted to be clear. “The newspaper is not closing any of the locations. Offices, located in Gallipolis, Pomeroy and Point Pleasant, remain open and are providing the local communities with news, advertising options and customer service. The company remains a viable and profitable one in the tri-county area which reaches thousands of readers via print publications and online sources, with local content not found in any other market.”
Because newspapers do preach transparency, it’s imperative to explain how this all came about and how this was not a decision made lightly, or overnight.
On June 13, OVP was purchased by AIM Media from Civitas Media. While owned by Civitas, the OVP press printed multiple publications from across West Virginia and Kentucky, as well as close to home. Those multiple publications did not go with the sale to AIM Media and these losses of print jobs, as well as the age of the press, led to the decision to outsource the printing to Athens. This is a reality many newspapers across America, in towns both large and small, have had to face in order to grow through the changes. Regrettably, this meant employees in the press production and mailroom at the Gallipolis production facility, were laid off. All were given severance and have been encouraged to apply for similar positions in Athens. AIM representatives have said they will attempt to assist them in this transition.
Hunt and AIM Media management also used the announcement to express gratitude and thanks to the work these press production and mailroom employees did over the years. “We recognize their dedication to their jobs which meant getting those newspapers out to the communities we continue to service.”
“Our new printer, the Athens Messenger, has newer, more up-to-date equipment and technology than we had in Gallipolis. Our readers and advertisers have already seen an improvement in the quality of our newspapers. We’re excited to explore the opportunity for more, better color and printing options going forward,” Hunt added.
This is a period of adjustment. This is the period at the end of a sentence in some respects but it’s also the first sentence in a new chapter. Yes, change is inevitable and though the literal ink will no longer be in Gallipolis, the people who give the ink form and content, remain.