History and Demise of The Conneaut News-Herald

From “Remembering,” 2009

Editor, Joan Barnett

History and Demise of The Conneaut News-Herald

The forerunner of the Conneaut News-Herald began in 1890-an offspring of the Conneaut Post-Herald and either the Conneaut Reporter or the Conneaut Evening News- accounts vary on the name. After several name changes, the paper debuted as the News-Herald in 1907 at the 182-184 Broad Street location where the offices remained until the paper closed.

Other forerunners of The News-Herald were Salem Adviser (later called the Conneaut Gazette; Conneaut Reporter; Conneaut Citizen; Conneaut Express; Conneaut Herald; Conneaut Daily Herald; and the Conneaut Evening Post, which was the first daily paper.

C.S. Putnam, then postmaster and financially interested in the Conneaut Printing Company, engineered the merger. The Conneaut Printing Company had been formed four years earlier.

First location of the Conneaut Evening News was a wooden frame building at Broad and Main Streets. It was established by P.E. Bissell in 1897, and three years later moved to the 182-184 Broad Street brick block building. In the early 1960s, the building was remodeled and enlarged to the size it is today.

The first editions of the Conneaut News-Herald were six- and eight-page six column papers. A new eight-page duplex flatbed press was purchased on November 23, 1911, and The News-Herald became a standard seven column newspaper, printing four, six, eight and more pages daily as required.

In 1927, The News-Herald and Conneaut Printing Company was purchased by Claude A. Rowley who formerly managed the newspaper in 1908. His death in 1945 terminated a successful career as publisher of four northeastern Ohio daily newspapers. Robert B. and Donald C. Rowley became co-publishers after the death of their father. Richard died in 1962 and D.C. Rowley became publisher.

For nearly 60 years the newspaper was a Rowley venture. In 1984, Tri County Newspapers purchased the business and in 1988, it was  sold to Thomson Newspapers.

Events large and small were reported by the News-Herald, including two world wars, local parades, meetings, and ball games.

Finally on July 5, 1992, The News-Herald published its final edition, falling victim to long term financial problems, and combined with the Ashtabula Star Beacon to continue printing the local news.

This quotation from that newspaper says it all:

“The News-Herald was witness to the city’s growth over the decades, spawned by its thriving railroad and lake shipping industries. And – sadly – in recent years the city’s economic slump has garnered its share of headlines as recession took its toll.”

Editor’s note:  a weekly newspaper, the Hometown News, ran from July 1986 through June 1991 and another weekly newspaper for the Conneaut area, The Courier, began publication in July 1992.