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November 10, 2001

Sale of Nanty Glo Journal, sister papers reported

By Jon Kennedy

The Nanty Glo Journal or, as it now prefers to be called, just The Journal, has been sold to the Latrobe Printing and Publishing Co., which earlier this year also bought Ebensburg's historic Mountaineer-Herald. All five of the other weekly newspapers owned by Sedloff Publications Incorporated's Mainline Newspapers were included in the Latrobe company's purchase. The company also publishes the Bedford Gazette.

The Journal was founded in 1921 by Herman Sedloff, then a young immigrant from Russia. After establishing the Journal, Sedloff acquired the Portage DIspatch and Cresson-Gallitzin Mainliner to form Mainline Newspapers. By his retirement in the early 1960's, Sedloff had built the company to an estimated worth in excess of a million dollars. Though the company's main offices were relocated to Portage because of the Dispatch's superior printing operation, Sedloff continued to reside in Nanty Glo until his retirement. The Sedloff company passed to the founder's nephew, Gerald Newman, a 1932 graduate of Nanty Glo High School who had been the company's advertising manager before becoming publisher.

Frank Noll acquired the company when Newman retired, and added a new paper in Ebensburg, the News Leader, and later took over the Patton Union Press-Courier and Barnesboro Star, which were subsequently merged to become the Star-Courier. Gene Stepp, who was with the papers for 27 years as manager, became the company's owner and publisher earlier this year. The new ownership means that all six Cambria County weekly newspapers are under one ownership. There was no indication of whether the papers would continue using the company name Sedloff Publications, Inc., nor was there any stipulation of whether the Portage-based job printing side of the company, which was its main revenue source, was being acquired by Latrobe Printing and Publishing Co.

A report on the change of ownership in the November 7 Journal said the change of ownership became effective on November 1. Bill Anderson, publisher of the Bedford Gazette and Mountaineer-Herald and "a partner in the Latrobe Printing and Publishing Co.," will be publisher of all seven publications under the new arrangement. "We are excited to undertake a course of growth and expansion to give the citizens of northern Cambria County award-winning hometown newspapers," Anderson said. "Working together, the northern Cambria County newspapers will give unrivaled coverage that the big city papers cannot offer."

Herman Sedloff had desired ownership of an Ebensburg paper most of his life, and reportedly had been unsuccessful in overtures to buy the Mountaineer-Herald decades earlier. In the 1950's, under the editorial leadership of Andrew P. Rogalski, the Journal prided itself in its reporting on countyseat news, with Rogalski spending a day of his work week at the court house, the only non-Johnstown journalist to have a regular presence there at the time. Rogalski, who had been a military photojournalist in the South Pacific during World War II, also competed for journalism awards statewide, making the Journal the most honored weekly in Pennsylvania for a time.

Outgoing publisher Gene Stepp said, "It is with deep regret, yet satisfaction, that I find it necessary to turn over the keys to new owners, younger, and, perhaps, more qualified than I. The years have gone by so quickly and I have enjoyed bringing you your local, hometown weekly paper." He added, "It would be misleading of me to take credit, for without all the dedicated employees, writers, photographers, sales, prepress and pressmen, the stuffers who work late every Tuesday night, the drivers and the carriers, you would never have your paper printed and delivered on time. These people are the true publishers and deserve all the credit."

The article said the combined circulation of the Cambria County weeklies reaches approximately 20,000 homes each week. Anderson also reported that the Mountaineer-Herald and News-Leader will continue to publish separate weekly editions. "We have no plans to combine the newspapers into one publication at the present time, but the staff will work together to improve each newspaper."

Webmaster's note: The Nanty Glo Home Page extends all best wishes to the new publisher and all the crew of the Journal and its now-five Cambria County sister publications.

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Jon Kennedy 2001