Two River Times 25th Anniversary Commemorative Coverage
By John Burton
RED BANK – For the last quarter century, The Two River Times has been a reliable source of news, information and entertainment. And with its 25th anniversary this month, the weekly is celebrating its history and looking for ward to continuing to be a strong voice for many years to come.
Through September, the Two River Times will be embracing this milestone, remembering its launch on Sept. 26, 1990. Readers can expect Scene Page profiles, one of the newspaper’s most read and cherished traditions, featuring interviews with the publication’s four owners – past and present – who will offer their memories of stewarding The Two River Times. Some of those stories will run with portraits by noted Red Bank photographer Danny Sanchez, whose work for the Scene Page has been another long tradition.
This week’s Scene Page profile is about Claudia Ansorge, who founded the publication, followed by Geraldo Rivera, Michael Gooch and will conclude at the end of the month with a profile of the paper’s current owner, Domenic M. DiPiero III.
In our Sept. 24 anniversary issue, staff members who were here in the beginning and continue to provide their talent and insight to the paper, will share their reflections. To be included will be an interview with Jim Hintelmann, who has been here from the beginning, working for many years as he paper’s sports editor. He continues to write weekly as a contributing sportswriter, covering the high school sports scene.
Then there’s Flo Higgins who has been offering predictions into the fortunes the stars may hold for readers with her weekly Skywatch column, which have appeared from the newspaper’s earliest days.
Joan Ellis, our movie reviewer, who was here from the start, will also discuss the changes she’s seen during the paper’s 25 years.
“I’ve run much larger papers in the long gone days when we put out five editions a day. I worked with wonderful people, who put in long days,” said Jody Calendar, executive editor/co-publisher of The Two River Times. “But I have never seen anything like the staff of The Two River Times. Their work ethic, dedication to this area and talent are an inspiration. I’m proud to be among them to celebrate this milestone.”
The People Pages, another long time popular feature, highlighting the area’s social and charitable fundraising, will enjoy a retrospective, as will other sections.
The Sept. 24 commemorative issue will cost just 25 cents, just like its 25-year-old counterpart, and will be laid out in the style of the 1990 broadsheet. It will contain stories about where we were as a community and where we may be going.
Ansorge, who had a successful career in publishing and advertising and more recently operates the marketing and advertising firm Ansorge Unlimited, which publishes Red Hot magazine, began her paper serving as its publisher, operating out of a number of offices at 4 West Front Street, with insufficient parking, long the bane of employees. The paper’s operation under its various owners would move three more times, always remaining in Red Bank, with our current location being 75 West Front Street, in the borough’s downtown. It was a time before the Internet became such a pervasive influence in our lives and The Two River Times began to challenge the dominance of established daily newspapers in providing local news coverage.
Ansorge would go on to partner with TV personality and journalist Geraldo Rivera, who was living on Middletown’s Navesink River Road at the time. Rivera would go on to assume ownership and the role of publisher holding the reins, even while reporting from war torn Afghanistan and hosting NBC and Fox News shows, until November 2004.
Rivera eventually sold The Two River Times to Rumson residents Michael Gooch, a Wall Street financier, and his wife Diane. In July 2014, Gooch sold the operation to current owner, Rumson resident and Red Bank business owner DiPiero.
Over the years the staff of The Two River Times was there reporting on events like 9/11; Super Storm Sandy and the rebuilding after wards; the battle to save and the closing of Fort Monmouth, its redevelopment and its effect on the area’s economy; the Great Recession and what it meant for our little corner of the world. The Two River Times was there for all the events in the last 25 years that have left their mark on us as well as the 13 communities on the paper’s masthead that are part of the Two River Area – Atlantic Highlands, Colts Neck, Fair Haven, Highlands, Holmdel, Little Silver, Middletown, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport, Red Bank, Rumson, Sea Bright and Shrewsbury Borough.
During that time the paper’s members received scores of awards for their work from the New Jersey Press Association and the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
And as the news business underwent its own transition with the rise of the use of the Internet, causing extreme consternation for much larger players in the industry, The Two River Times has continued to serve its readers (albeit in a somewhat reduced broadsheet size and smaller staff – much like what many newspapers around the country have done) as it always has.
The staff now looks forward to a new era, where it will optimize its newly revamped website, offering real time reports on breaking news and being much more active on the social media front.
Thanks for coming along for the ride and we hope you’ll continue to join us.
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