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Fairs and newspapers are a long tradition

Attendance at county fairs has been a long-standing tradition of my family every summer.

But last week, as I strolled past the grandstand at the Canfield Fair, it felt different. That’s probably because this time I had come alone.

And I wasn’t immediately in search of a lemon shake.

Instead, I was heading toward my newspaper’s tent on the corner where The Vindicator tent has been located for as long as I could remember. I was going to spend some time there greeting new readers and talking about the undertaking we were preparing to launch today — our first edition of the new Vindicator edition.

For the nearly 25 years in which I worked at the Tribune Chronicle in various capacities, I had viewed The Vindicator as formidable competition. I read their pages with interest nearly every day, largely comparing Tribune Chronicle stories to their stories, searching for things they had covered but we did not, or better, stories we had that they did not.

Now, about 60 days after the initial shock of The Vindicator’s announced closure, suddenly there no longer is a “we” vs. “they.”

And this week as I breezed into the fair, I was working for the first time ever in that corner tent with plastic orange tablecloths and a huge banner emblazoned, “The Vindicator edition.”

Yes, this trip to the fair was very different.

With much of the recent media coverage — local, regional and national — about the closure of the Youngstown-based newspaper, certainly readers here are well aware of the changes taking place at both The Vindicator and Tribune Chronicle.

If you’re a regular Tribune Chronicle reader, I’m sure you already know we announced last month that we had purchased The Vindicator name, its subscriber list and the www.Vindy.com website domain. That announcement came more than a month after The Vindicator announced in late June that it would cease production Aug, 31.

The Tribune Chronicle’s new Vindicator edition covering Mahoning County launches today.

While we are extending our coverage area and our circulation plans, rest assured that our readers in Trumbull County will see very little difference in your newspaper.

We will continue to provide our loyal longtime subscribers and readers with the same Trumbull County-focused news coverage everyday. Certainly, your delivery should remain unaffected by the goings on south of the Trumbull County line.

You see, we have committed to adding additional reporters, sports writers, page designers and others who can help us expand our coverage — not replace it. We will be publishing two separate editions each day, one focused on Trumbull County as always, and a new edition focused on Mahoning County issues.

We also have added many, many carriers and haulers to help us deliver our new edition to our new readers, without affecting the distribution system already in place in Trumbull County.

Yes, you will see some new bylines with which Vindicator readers know and trust. They include longtime politics writer and government reporter David Skolnick, along with crime and local government reporter Ed Runyan. We also have brought on The Vindicator’s longtime regional editor Tom Wills, several page designers and sports writers. Well-known feature writer and community news correspondent Sean Barron also is joining our team.

The weekly fishing column by Jack Wollitz, carried in The Vindicator for years, now also will be included in our sports pages on Saturday mornings.

Hopefully you see why I am excited with this new challenge, and why I believe our Trumbull County Tribune Chronicle readers will see many new benefits as well.

In the coming weeks, I hope you will let me know your thoughts.

And, by the way, I never did get my lemon shake. But I did stop on my way out and pick up a pepperoni roll. Not a bad substitute, I guess.

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