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Tag: Newspapers

Bruce’s Top Ten Hot Takes for September 14, 2023

hot takes

I have never been an Aaron Rogers fan, but after watching him on Hard Knocks, I’m more sympathetic towards the man. Rogers blew out his Achilles tendon minutes into the Jets’ first game and is done for the year. I genuinely feel sorry for him.

Jets quarterback Zach Wilson will not lead the team to the Promised Land. The Jets need to sign a seasoned quarterback; someone who is a caretaker. Don’t throw the ball away and let the defense do the rest.

Last night’s low was 45 degrees. Where did summer go? I wanted to turn the furnace on. My bed partner didn’t want to crank up the heat. Who won? I froze.

I introduced my five-year-old grandson to newspapers — a sales insert from a farm supply business. Made his day. Sadly, children born over the past ten years know no little to nothing about newspapers.

Our six children grew up in a home that received a morning and evening newspaper every day. They especially remember Dad’s paper rule: keep the sections in the proper order. They also remember that on Sundays no one read the paper before Dad (though I think they sometimes ignored this rule, reading the comics and sports sections, and then putting them back in place — Dad none the wiser).

I no longer subscribe to any newspaper, getting my daily news from a plethora of online sites. I miss not physically reading a daily newspaper. Both local papers are dying. Outside of finding out who died or what Ney’s council did at their meeting, local newspapers offer little value to me.

I set a record yesterday: 12 vials of blood were drawn from my left hand — over $1,000 in tests. The pessimist in me wonders if any of this will matter. Every specialist interprets the numbers differently.

I’m anemic, with low potassium, B12, and testosterone numbers. Supplements keep these numbers hovering around low normal. I reminded the doctor that I was taking significant levels of supplements to keep these numbers out of the basement. Without the supplements, I would be dead. The question, then, is why I have these deficiencies. So far, no doctor has a clue.

Ohio State will not play in the national championship game this year. Neither will Alabama.

My youngest grandson found a cricket in the living room and freaked out. I stopped him from killing it. At Grandpa and Nana’s house, if necessary we capture and release. Spiders? More often than not, we ignore them. Polly swears a big wolf spider is stalking her. Maybe. 🙂

Bonus: Out of all the serious health problems I have, nausea is the worst. I’m nauseous every day, often without relief. You can’t escape nausea. Eating is one of the few pleasures I still enjoy, but nausea often ruins this pleasure. Hard to enjoy eating when you feel like throwing up. I take Zofran to limit the vomiting, but that dull, achy nauseous feeling remains.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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The Bryan Times Shuts Down Printing Operation

the bryan times

According to the WBNO website, the 65-year-old Bryan Times will no longer be printing the newspaper in-house. This end 150 years of a local newspaper being printed in Bryan, Ohio.

This comes as no surprise as small-town newspapers such as The Bryan Times try to adapt to the changes in how local residents get their news. As with TV news, newspapers have an increasingly aging subscriber base. Younger adults no longer turn to the TV or newspaper to get the news.

The Bryan Times made a stab at having a website with blogs and other internet news, hoping to attract those who use the internet to get their news. I doubt anyone at the newspaper would consider the website initiative a rousing success. The Times, like the Defiance Crescent-News, hides most of its news behind a paywall.

While I understand the economics behind such a move, younger adults will just look for some other news site at which to get their news. Having grown up in an age where most everything on the internet is “free,” most younger adults are not willing to pay for online news. Young adults live in a world where they can stream unlimited movies with Netflix or stream unlimited music with Spotify for less than $10.00 a month. In their mind, paying $8.99 for a newspaper they can read in a few minutes is an unnecessary, frivolous cost. They might spend the equivalent amount of money buying ring tones for their smartphone, but young adults increasingly no longer see the value in a printed newspaper.

Even though I am an old man, I no longer subscribe to a printed newspaper. I read the Crescent-News online, and every day I read blogs, news websites, Facebook, and Twitter to get my news fix.  I wistfully lament the passing of printed newspapers, especially those that played such an influential part of my life. Over the years, I  faithfully read The Bryan TimesDefiance Crescent-NewsZanesville Times-Recorder,Newark AdvocateDetroit Free PressThe Columbus DispatchThe Toledo BladeThe Fort Wayne Journal Gazette Findlay Republican CourierYuma Sun TimesThe Arizona Republic, and the Perry County Tribune. And these are just the papers I read regularly when I was living in these communities.  I also read, from time to time, small, local weekly papers, along with the newspaper of whatever community Polly and I were vacationing in. Needless to say, my newspaper reading habits resulted in the death of a lot of trees.

As I looked up the links for the aforementioned newspapers, I noticed that many of the newspapers had been bought out by larger media companies. What were once local, independent newspapers are now owned by media giants such as Gannett.  I suspect the newspaper industry will continue to contract until almost every newspaper is a subsidiary of a Wall Street media giant.  Future historians will write of the days when America lost the voice of a free press.

The Bryan Times remains a family-owned independent newspaper. The Cullis family has owned the paper for many years. Christopher Cullis, the same age as I am, is currently the publisher. Years ago, when I first started writing Community Voice editorials for the Times, Cullis told me that my editorial could be any length, but if I wanted people to read it I should write 800-1,000 words. This proved to be good advice.

Several times, Cullis called me after I submitted an editorial to ask if I really meant to say _________________? In most cases the answer was “No,” and he would suggest a better wording. I appreciate his help in making me a better writer.

Sadly, with the Times moving its printing to Fort Wayne, 18 people will lose their jobs. I suspect some of these employees have worked for The Bryan Times many years. No doubt, their layoff was a difficult action for the Cullis family to take.

In 1946, Grant Brown opened Brownie’s Restaurant in Bryan, right next door to The Bryan Times. It  was Bryan’s first drive-in restaurant. As a teenager, I ate many a hamburger at Brownie’s. For a time, I even had a weekly tab that I paid each payday. Facing competition from the chain fast food restaurants that moved into Bryan in the 1970s, Grant Brown closed  Brownie’s in 1975. The Times bought the building and tore it down to make way for a building expansion.

Will The Bryan Times go the way of Brownie’s Restaurant? I hope not, but I wonder if there is a future for the printed newspaper? It is increasingly cost-prohibitive to print a newspaper, and being unable to significantly raise subscription prices, newspapers cut the one thing they can cut: their employees.

I wish the Cullis family nothing but the best. The Bryan Times is one of the best small town newspapers around. From my Mom’s letters to the editor in the 1960s to my own letters to the editor and Community Voice editorials, The Bryan Times has graciously allowed us to voice our take on the world. I wish them nothing but the best, even if I have my doubts that a prosperous future lies ahead.  Someday, we will realize what we’ve lost as a result of  the decline of American newspapers. For now – hey, did you see what J-Lo and Kim Kardashian did today? OMG!


The Bryan Times was established in 1949. Before that, the local newspaper was called The Bryan Union Free Press, The Bryan Press, and The Bryan DemocratYou can read some of the old newspapers here.


Bruce Gerencser