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A great tradition continues – Barberton Herald

A great tradition continues – Barberton Herald

Barberton Herald History and a note about the Publisher.

A great tradition endures

Shortly after Barberton was established in 1891, the first weekly newspaper was founded.

Available at newsstands each Saturday, the Banner and Bulletin documented the growth of Barberton and is credited with promoting the nickname The Magic City. The Banner and Bulletin, however, was rather short-lived, lasting only one year.

Citizens were not long without a newspaper though, as a resident and former teacher John R. Davis founded the Barberton News in 1892 and published early issues out of the basement of the National Hotel (once located at the corner of present-day Wooster Road North and West Lake Avenue). The newspaper came to an end in the fall of 1929 after Davis’ death. Though Davis’ son George managed the paper, The Barberton News published its last issue within months of Davis’ passing.

In 1894 the Barberton Leader was founded by attorney Edward Huene. This weekly newspaper changed ownership several times, coming under the management of former city editor of the Akron Beacon Journal, Eugene Rowe. The Leader began publication out of the Tracy Block on Tuscarawas Avenue before moving to Second Street in the early 1900s. It published the last issue in December 1922. Several other publications appeared on the news scene over the years but could not stand the test of time.

In 1906, The Republican Barberton Telegram began, fading away by the early 1920s. The Barberton Socialist arrived alongside the Telegram, but little is known of this short-lived publication. The Barberton Times and Independent appear briefly but suffered similar fates. The 1950s brought about The Democratic Barberton Post, which enjoyed a weekly circulation of 5,000. Owned by a group of men from Akron, the post printed three additional weekly publications for the communities of Portage Lakes, Canal Fulton and Canton before closing up in 1960.

Barberton’s longest-running publication, however, continues today.

Established in 1923, The Barberton Herald actually began in Kenmore in 1921 before relocating to the Magic City on West Tuscarawas Avenue. The newspaper relocated several times before settling in at its present location on Fourth Street Northwest in 1967. Copies in the 1920s sold for 2 cents or $1 for a one-year subscription.

Herald founders Harold Makinson and Frank Gaethke, who also established Marshall’s Department Store, acquired the defunct Barberton Leader and the Barberton News. Each publication maintained offices until the newspapers were consolidated around 1929.

David Allen Richardson and his wife, Catherine Ann Robertson, purchased the Herald from Makinson in 1985. Richardson, originally from Canton, Ohio had been a journalist in Washington DC, Florida and Ohio. His “One Man’s Meat” columns became popular with many readers.

Robertson was a Norton High graduate and retired from Society Bank as President. The two ran the Herald until 2004, when Cheryl Lyn McCracken-Vespoint, Robertson’s daughter, purchased it. Vespoint is a 1984 Barberton graduate.

Vespoint carried The Barberton Herald into the digital age by incorporating the internet and sending pages to print electronically.

In 2010, the Herald pushed its way into the social media scene being hailed by the National Newspaper Association as one of the most digitally aggressive weeklies in the state, with over 16,000 followers on Facebook. The Herald also incorporates a YouTube Page, Google Plus and Instagram.

The Herald has evolved throughout its 94-year history but has continued to focus on local news, sports and opinion.

Today, the newspaper averages sales of more than 8,500 issues per week through printed and online subscriptions and newsstand sales, with single copies at $1 and a years subscription is $20. The online newspaper subscription id $16.

– Excerpts from Rebecca Larson-Troyer


The Herald (0442600) published Thursdays for The Vespoint Publishing Company Inc.

Periodicals Postage paid at Barberton, OH, 44203.

A subscription in Summit County is $20, in the state of Ohio is $26, out of the State of Ohio $39, out of United States $56.

The Herald can be read online for $16 per year. No refunds, please.

Integrated Postal Software is used with SATORI, CASS Certification, Zip+4, Line of travel, Carrier route and Delivery point bar code since Oct. 2009.

The Barberton Herald is a respected member of The Ohio Newspaper Association, Ohio News Media and The National Newspaper Association.


This article was published by the National Newspaper Association in their July 16, 201 Publisher Auxilary.

In a digital world, the personal touch still counts

The National Newspaper Association

When Cheryl Vespoint, a former banker, took over ownership of The Barberton Herald in 2005, the responsibilities that were most challenging had nothing to do with the economy, keeping the paper afloat or covering tough issues in the news.

Instead, Vespoint found herself staring at a new digital frontier. The U.S. Postal Service was floundering, and websites that curated and aggregated news were on the rise.

Eleven short years ago, the world of journalism was on the brink of a complete paradigm shift. Vespoint had never touched a Mac, and neither she nor any of her fellow publishers had ever heard of social media. Mark Zuckerberg had just launched “The Facebook” at Harvard University. Twitter was still a year away. Yet Vespoint and The Barberton Herald made their way onto the forefront of technology and social media, and with a little intellectual muscle and a lot of hard work, they are setting themselves up as a modern, 21st Century news outlet.

“While mastering digital and social media has been hard, we are now on the cutting edge,” she said on the phone recently.

Founded in 1923, The Herald is the longest…

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