Birthday celebrations often lead to reflection. Have I lived a full life so far? What are the highlights — and lowlights? Who am I thankful for? Are there any regrets? Are there changes I should be making?
The Citizens’ Voice turns 40 on Oct. 9 and I can say, unequivocally, that it has led a full life so far. The “CV,” as it’s affectionately known, was born an underdog. Created by striking employees of the Capital Cities-owned Times Leader in October of 1978, it was initially intended to be a temporary weapon in the war for better pay and fairer treatment.
Amazingly, 40 years later, it is not only a permanent fixture, but is also the longest-lasting strike newspaper in our nation’s history.
Through 40 years of struggle, growth, and a constant commitment to improvement and quality journalism, it has also become, by far, the largest daily and Sunday paper in Luzerne County.
This remarkable story would’ve been relegated to the dustbin of history if it weren’t for the hard work, significant sacrifice and supreme dedication of those original union strikers. They began the paper with a deep commitment to local news and a strong sense of local ownership and control. That tradition has continued since May 1, 2000, when Times-Shamrock Communications purchased the newspaper from its then employee-owners.
The CV has evolved a lot over those 40 years. We’ve changed the look of the paper, added coverage, and expanded circulation. We launched a Sunday newspaper in 1993, and added our website and mobile apps. In 2014, we added the Greater Pittston Progress to better serve that community.
We’ve won multiple state and national journalism awards; 98 in the past five years alone. Some of the most significant awards include the Society of Professional Journalists’ (SPJ) Sigma Delta Chi award for editorial writing in 2010; the SPJ’s Best Overall Daily Newspaper award in 2011; the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association’s Keystone Sweepstakes award in 2015; and the Pennsylvania Associated Press Media Editors’ Public Service Award in 2016.
We’ve been able to achieve all of our successes for four basic reasons: first, we have dedicated employees in all departments who ensure that we can produce a great local newspaper every day; second, we have the area’s best carriers, dedicated to delivering the CV to your doorstep, on time, every morning; third, we have committed and loyal readers like you, who feel connected to the community, at least in part, by reading your CV every day; and fourth, we have committed and loyal advertisers who support local journalism while connecting with our tens of thousands of loyal readers.
We look to the future with excitement while saluting our shared past and the many employees, readers and advertisers who have made our 40th birthday possible.
On behalf of our Times-Shamrock family and our family of employees, thank you for making the CV the largest circulated and best read newspaper, by any measure, in Luzerne County. We promise to stay committed to delivering the best local news as we navigate the many changes and challenges to come over the next 40 years and more.
George V. Lynett Jr. is Publisher/CEO of The Citizens’ Voice