Sunday, January 9, 2011

About The Editor

Jim Sponseller
  Shortly after arriving at The Rochester Clarion in 1962 to  take on the dual tasks of general manager and editor, I learned I was the focus of some small-time gambling activity among the barstool crowd at the nearby Knapp’s Restaurant & Bar. The wagering was whether I would last on the job more than six months.
  I later discovered that a lengthy string of editors had rapidly preceded me in recent years. But it was too late to change my mind. My family and I had already moved here. Some of the bettors obviously lost their wagers. I stayed six years.
  The weekly newspaper had a circulation of around 7,500. Like many weeklies, it also had a profitable job printing business. There was another newspaper in town, The Rochester News, when I arrived, but a few years later the owners admitted defeat and sold   us their subscription list.
  In 1966, I decided to write what is called in the newspaper biz a “personal column.” Mine was called “From The Inside Out.” It was to have “additional inside information” that the headlined stories did not contain, as well as anecdotes from my personal life. For some reason, I saved most of the columns.
  After a total of 18 years in the newspaper business, I left The Clarion in late 1968 for an 18-year public relations stint with General Motors.
  So here it is now 40-plus years since exiting The Clarion. Opening a decaying scrapbook of columns in a basement box, I have selected some of them here that my kin folk and the Rochester citizens with a love of local history might find something of interest.
  In the intervening years, The Rochester Clarion, founded in 1898 and still at 313 Main Street, was sold. A few years later, the Clarion nameplate was replaced with Rochester Eccentric… and eventually the publication ceased to exist altogether. It’s now become a small part of our wonderful town’s lengthy history.

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