The October 3, 2005 front page of the
|Owner(s)||Local Media Group|
|Founded||July 30, 1956
(as Middletown Daily Record)
The Times Herald-Record, often referred to as The Record or Middletown Record in its coverage area, is a daily newspaper published in Middletown, New York, covering the northwest suburbs of New York City. It covers Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties in New York; Pike County in Pennsylvania; and Sussex County in New Jersey. It is published in a tabloid format.
The newspaper's news-gathering operations are largely decentralized, the result of its large geographic reach. Its news staff reports from three bureaus:
- Middletown, covering Orange and Pike (Pa.) counties
- Kingston, covering Ulster County
- Monticello, covering Sullivan County
It came into being in the late 1950s when Middletown's two papers merged. It is owned by Local Media Group.
A newspaper has been in existence in some form in the city of Middletown since 1851. The Times Herald was the result of a 1927 merger of the Times-Press, a merger of the old Middletown (Whig) Press of the 1850s and the Daily Times, founded in 1891, and the Daily Herald, founded in 1918, but also going back to the 1850s. The Times Herald had the Middletown market to itself from 1927 until 1956, when Jacob M. Kaplan started publishing the Middletown Daily Record, the first daily U.S. newspaper to use cold type, from a garage on North Street. The new paper grew to a daily circulation of 19,000 within three years but lost a lot of money in the process.
In November 1959, James H. Ottaway Sr., the founder of Ottaway Newspapers Inc., bought the Times-Herald and the Port Jervis Union-Gazette from Ralph Ingersoll, who had owned the papers since 1951. The Gazette, serving Port Jervis and surrounding communities, still exists as a weekly newspaper published by the Times Herald-Record. A few months later, in April 1960, Kaplan sold his Daily Record to Ottaway. Ottaway tried to convert the paper to a broadsheet, but restored the original format after three months. In October 1960 the two papers were merged into their current form. The Sunday Record began in 1969, shortly after Ottaway itself was acquired by Dow Jones. In 2007, when News Corp. bought Dow Jones, the newspaper again changed hands.
The Record was often an innovator in newspaper publishing and was one of the first to print color. The newspaper underwent a significant redesign and page cut-down in 2007. At that time, The Sunday Record was given the standard Times Herald-Record nameplate. In 2008, the newspaper's Web site, recordonline.com, underwent a complementary redesign. The in-print and online redesigns were launched to coincide with bolstered local and business news coverage.
On September 4, 2013, News Corp announced that it would sell the Dow Jones Local Media Group to Newcastle Investment Corp.—an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group, for $87 million. The newspapers will be operated by GateHouse Media, a newspaper group owned by Fortress. News Corp. CEO and former Wall Street Journal editor Robert James Thomson indicated that the newspapers were "not strategically consistent with the emerging portfolio" of the company. GateHouse in turn filed prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy on September 27, 2013, to restructure its debt obligations in order to accommodate the acquisition.
Prominent deceased and former employees
Avrom "Al" Romm (1926–1999), named city editor of the Daily Record in 1957, became the Times Herald-Record first managing editor after the merge in 1960, a position he held until he was named editorial page editor in 1976. His youngest son is climate expert Joseph J. Romm.
Manny Fuchs (1924–2005) joined the Daily Record in 1957 and became chief photographer in 1960. He was a concentration camp survivor who became a photojournalist. Before and during his stint at the Record, he photographed Picasso, Marilyn Monroe, Tennessee Williams, and Ben Hecht, among others. In 1966, he went to Vietnam to take pictures of hometown soldiers in the war zone. In addition to his photojournalism assignments, he was a patient teacher but hard taskmaster. After retiring, he and his wife returned to her native France and lived in Paris, but came back to Middletown where they lived until his death in 2005.
Glenn Doty, one of the paper's former managing editors, later trained hundreds of student journalists at The Legislative Gazette, a student-run newspaper covering state government in Albany operated jointly by SUNY campuses at New Paltz and Albany.
Hunter S. Thompson was another notable former employee. The future creator of gonzo journalism was fired by Editor A.N. Romm after "kicking open the office candy machine with his bare feet - again."
Mike Levine (newspaper writer) (1952–2007), began as a columnist in 1983, working his way up to executive editor in 1999. After a year's hiatus in 2001, he became executive editor in 2002. The Mike Levine Journalism Education Fund was founded after his death, and sponsors an annual training for aspiring writers at The Mike Levine Workshop. The workshop is led each year by prominent writers. In addition, an annual Mike Levine Column Read-a-Thon is held which raises money for the Education Fund. Levine is the first writer in the history of The Record for whom every article he had written is available online by archive  A clip of Mr. Levine addressing his community is on YouTube.
- Burkhart, Wade. "About Us". The Times Herald-Record.
- Ravo, Nick (January 6, 2000). "James Ottaway Sr., 88, Executive Who Started Newspaper Chain". The New York Times.
- "News Corp. sells 33 papers to New York investors". New York Business Journal. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "GateHouse Files for Bankruptcy as Part of Fortress Plan". Bloomberg.
- Bedell, Barbara (December 1999). "Record's first editor dies". Times Herald-Record.
- Farlekas, Chris; July 10, 2005; A salute to Manny Fuchs July 10, 2005; Times Herald-Record
- A Place Called Auschwitz Rayburn Hesse; March 9, 1993
- Bedell, Barbara; March 19, 2003; Columnist celebrates 30th anniversary; Times Herald-Record
- Obituary: Mike Levine January 15, 2007
- Times Herald-Record online
- Williams, Franklin B. (1928). Middletown a Biography. Middletown N.Y. pp. 175–181.