Saturday, March 16 marks the 122nd anniversary of The Evening Sun, serving as Chenango County’s Hometown Daily Newspaper since 1891. Today marks the departure of longtime Managing Editor Jeff Genung, who has been with the newspaper since 1990. The Evening Sun’s editorial and sales staff posed for a group photo in the Lackawanna Avenue offices to mark both occasions. From left: Patrick Newell, Kevin Doonan, Shawn Magrath, Jeff Genung, Jill O’Hara, Brian Golden and Brad Carpenter. (Frank Speziale Photo)
“This paper will be the Friend of the Government, of Morals and Truth – Independent of Politics and Religion.”
This was the creed of The Norwich Sun circa 1913, and though it may have fallen out of use, the basic premise remains the same.
Today marks The Evening Sun’s 122nd anniversary of serving you as Chenango County’s Hometown Daily Newspaper.
The history of this newspaper is as rich and deep as the history of Norwich itself. Long before this publication, the newspaper business in Norwich saw its inception on Nov. 14, 1816 when J.F. Hubbard began publishing The Norwich Journal for 2 cents per copy. The Journal continued to be published successfully for several years, changing hands numerous times.
In 1877, publisher B. Gage Berry changed the name to The Chenango Semi-Weekly Telegraph, with an issue coming out every Wednesday and Saturday mornings at a cost of two dollars per year. Eventually, The Telegraph merged with The Norwich Sun nearly a century later.
The year 1891 marked the beginning of Chenango County’s first and only daily newspaper, still going strong today. The paper was first known as The Morning Sun, later becoming The Norwich Sun, and finally as it is known today, The Evening Sun.
The Morning Sun was first published on a daily basis by Reed Campbell on March 16, 1891 in a little building on Mechanic Street, which was razed several decades ago for a YMCA addition. The first daily issue was six pages long, with 17 columns of display advertising.
In the editorial column of the very first Morning Sun, the following address was delivered by the editor: “The Morning Sun will be issued every day except Sundays. It will be thoroughly independent and especially so as regards to politics and religion. It will publish the news from day to day in a truthful and concise manner and in every way try to advocate such needed reforms as will be of lasting benefit to every man, woman and child in the beautiful village of Norwich. The office has been equipped with new and modern presses, type, and everything necessary to make a first class newspaper. The paper will be under efficient management and editorial writers will devote their entire time to making The Morning Sun a bright, interesting and readable newspaper.”
On March 7, 1904, the name of the paper became The Norwich Sun, having changed from a morning to an afternoon publication time. In 1961, a similar change from afternoon to later evening publication prompted the name change to The Evening Sun. The name of the newspaper remains so today, even though it is off the presses in downtown Norwich by the noon hour; delivery is later in the outer regions of the county.
Over the years, the paper has been headquartered in several locations, from Mechanic Street to Lackawanna Avenue to Hale Street and back to Lackawanna. The newspaper’s printing plant on Hale Street was built in 1971; in 2002, it was sold when the newspaper’s printing operations moved to the current Sun Printing facility in the Borden Avenue warehouse. In 1996, the editorial and sales staffs moved their headquarters from Hale Street to Lackawanna Avenue, just a few doors down from The Sun’s former home.
After a succession of both local and out-of-town owners, The Evening Sun was purchased by Snyder Communications on May 2, 1994. For the first time in over 15 years, The Evening Sun was again owned locally, this time by a growing family of successful companies which employ over 200.
So here we are today, 122 years old, still going strong in an industry which, like so many others, has suffered some devastating blows and challenges lately. Statistically speaking, a community of this size shouldn’t still have a daily newspaper. There just aren’t many newspapers of our size still in print. The Evening Sun is special in that regard, made even more rare by the fact that we are an independently-owned publication. Today, as we end one volume year and begin another, your hometown paper is facing a big change for the first time in two decades – on Monday, our longtime editor Jeff Genung will be gone, replaced in the interim by veteran reporter Brian Golden. Bear with us as we adjust to the change, and as we look ahead to reinventing ourselves once again. We’re lucky to be here. And we’re lucky that you continue to make us a part of your daily life.