Micromedia Publications Marks 24 Years

Stewart Swann and Robyn Weber

Celebrating Our 24 Year Journey

A Time For Thanks

    It has now been a journey of 24 years since The Manchester Times was born with the publication of its first edition on April 18, 1995, a venture which I launched with my partner, Robyn Weber Friedrich, in the basement of my home in Pine Lake Park. Since that time, we have been fortunate to add to our family of weekly newspapers with the introduction of The Berkeley Times (1996), The Jackson Times (2000), The Brick Times (2002), The Howell Times (2004), the Toms River Times (2005), and the Southern Ocean Times (2013). As our journey continued, the progress of technology meant the need for us to extend our offerings online, where information of all types is now consumed. This led to our development of Jersey Shore Online, a first-class hyper-local breaking news website fully integrated with social media and the needs of both readers and advertisers.

  The first edition of The Manchester Times contained an editorial entitled The Importance Of Community, which has been published within the first edition of all our newspapers since that time. It expressed the belief that the strength of our nation is founded upon the strength of our individual communities through “the simple associations we make in our community each and every day.” As such, the editorial continued, “We believe the mission of a local newspaper should be to promote the highest ideals of community life,” a mission we have tried to pursue faithfully throughout our journey.

  The celebration of the 24th anniversary of our journey  is first and foremost a time for thanks – to those who submit club and travel news to inform our readers of their events; to those submitting Letters To The Editor, thereby encouraging the debate and analysis of important issues; to our elected officials and other public officers who inform us of initiatives undertaken on behalf of the constituents they serve, and to the loyal advertisers whose advertising dollars make the fulfillment of our mission possible.

The first edition of The Manchester Times dated April 18th, 1995. (Photo by Jason Allentoff)

  Finally, I extend my deep and heartfelt thanks to the dedicated employees of our company, without which the success and quality of our newspapers and online offerings would be impossible – to our office, layout, ad design and production staff, under the direction of production manager Allison Gradzki, who meet deadlines under often difficult circumstances; to our news staff, under the direction of news editor Chris Lundy, who offer complete and unbiased news reporting; to our sales staff, who work diligently to ensure that economic targets are met; to the distribution department, under the direction of distribution manager Laura Hoban, who distribute our newspapers week in and week out on a timely basis, and to Jason Allentoff, our Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, who sees that all facets of the organization are effectively coordinated.

   To all of you, thank you for sharing this wonderful journey with us, a journey that will continue for many years to come!

Stew Swann