WILKES-BARRE — Mayor George Brown on Friday presented Times Leader Media Group publisher Kerry Miscavige with a key to the city and a proclamation celebrating the newspaper’s 115 years of service to the Greater Wilkes-Barre community.
“We were unexpectedly invited to Mayor George Brown’s office to receive the ‘key to the city’ along with a proclamation from the City of Wilkes-Barre for our organization’s 115 years of service to the community,” Miscavige said. “To be recognized in the city where we have worked and published for 115 years is a great honor.”
In a brief ceremony in Mayor Brown’s office, the mayor read a proclamation:
“THE POST, the first edition of the Times Leader was published on December 2, 1907. The newspaper was the result of a merger between the owners and publishers, Colonel Ernest Gray Smith and Fred C. Kirkendall, of the Leader, Sr., and its competitor, the Times. The newly established newspaper promised to “print news intelligently without hatred or fear.” The Times Leader of the early 20th century had more pages, news and advertising than its competitors; and,
“WHEREAS, in 1939 the Times Leader, Evening News and Record merged into a joint venture under the name Wilkes-Barre Publishing Co.” After Mr. Kirkendall left the paper, Colonel Smith continued to run the paper and became a major public figure. in the district. After his death in 1945, the newspaper remained in the possession of his family for another 33 years. Throughout the 20th century, the newspaper reported on important local, national and world events, including both world wars, the Great Depression, the 1969 moon landing and the Agnes flood of 1972; and,
“WHEREAS, Times Leader reporters have recently published articles on important local court cases, the 2011 flood, the COVID-19 pandemic and community events. In 2018, the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce named Times Leader Media Group its Legacy Business of the Year. Also in 2018, the Times Leader Media group made a major investment in a building on East Market Street that houses the editorial, advertising, circulation and production departments and where the newspapers are printed. The Times Leader Media Group, in addition to its flagship publication, The Times Leader, produces the Pittston Sunday Dispatch, Abington Journal, Mountain Peaks and theweekender.com.
“Therefore, I, George C. Brown, Mayor of the City of Wilkes-Barre, on behalf of all the citizens of Wilkes-Barre, have decided to congratulate the Times Leader Media Group on 115 years of service to the greater Wilkes-Barre community.”
In selecting the 2018 Times Leader Award as a business legacy honoree, the Chamber’s awards committee considered factors such as historical perspective, community investment, business accomplishments, and company and employee community involvement.
The Times Leader has been in business for more than a century since the Wilkes-Barre Times and Wilkes-Barre Leader merged in 1907. Thanks to these publications, it reaches its roots far back in the 19th century.
The paper has called downtown Wilkes-Barre home for decades. He renewed his commitment to downtown, investing heavily in a building on East Market Street that now houses the editorial, advertising, circulation and production departments.
The Times Leader remains the only daily newspaper actually printed in the city of Wilkes-Barre.
Contact Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.