Times Publisher Achieves Milestone in News Printing
Editor's Note: What does it take to keep your head up in this changing market? How do you supercede the print is out mode in the publication world? Just ask Carl Aiello. The Times Publisher is motivated by his community and a love for the thrill of the chase (of the story). For Carl the beat goes on.
By Jordan Wilkinson
Carl Aiello’s office is longer than it is wide, lined with book shelves to the right and windows overlooking leafy trees to the left. The first thing visitors are apt to notice, though, is the “NO WHINING” wooden plaque that sits at the forefront of his desk. Being the publisher of three Hudson Valley newspapers, Aiello certainly has no time for whiners. Publisher of the Wallkill Valley Times, the Mid-Hudson Times and the Southern Ulster Times, he oversees a staff of about 12 writers, freelancers and columnists.
When Aiello graduated from Siena College with a degree in political science, he was unsure about what he wanted to do. "My Dad had worked for the Newburgh evening news. Before your time," he smiles. After Aiello's college graduation in 1979, he was hired by The Walden Citizen Herald. "I did a little bit of everything," he said. "I liked being involved and telling people what they needed to know." When Walden Printers sold their weekly publication to a larger company that effectively ran them in to the ground, he was out of work. "I thought, I can do this. So I started Wallkill Valley Times. We had a tiny office and in the beginning; I did just about everything."
Aiello is celebrating a milestone this year. The Wallkill Valley Times was 30 years strong in 2013 and Mid-Hudson Times celebrates 25 years in 2014. As revenue and readership grew, he was able to hire more staff writers to report and expanded to the three current weeklies he oversees. Every week in Mid-Hudson Times you'll see one of Carl's father's photos. He houses the collection and reminisces about the days when his father would cram into the darkroom to help Carl finish the pages of the paper.
Carl serves on the board of the National Newspaper Association
“What I think we do now is unique. We cover local news, community stories and events – we see communities develop,” Aiello said. "You want to be fair. We can't ignore bad things that are happening in Newburgh. When they cracked down on the gangs we reported on it. We try to make an effort to show the people who are trying to make a difference."
Being weekly, his papers enjoy the luxury of time. There is time to develop stories within communities and time to get the facts right, something news outlets, with their impossibly fast pace, don’t always get to enjoy.
Under such a seemingly stressful workload, Aiello isn’t as worried about the printed word as much as he’s told he should be. “I believe that what we do is not duplicated anyplace else. ” he said. All of his papers occupy some amount of online presence and they are moving towards full-scale publication of all content onto the sites.
Me: Do you see yourself doing this for at least another one hundred years or so?
Carl: At least, yeah. I don't see myself going anywhere.
(Happy Birthday, Carl!)