My Time at The Western Hills Press
Community Newspapers of the Past
By Chris (Erdman) Berger
In 1968, I started my career in the newspaper/graphic arts field. The Western Hills Press, owned by Albert Huneke, invested in state of the art typesetting equipment to produce print media, with his son-in-law Dale Ivey. I believe this company was the first in the city to publish this type of innovative system.
I was employed by this new company that was formed called Suburban Typographics. The preparation for six community newspapers and also the UC News Record were completed there. It was managed by Ron Schlensker, a previous employee of the Western Hills Press.
The “galley” copy was produced on IBM machines came out in columns and strips and all headlines (and larger type) were produced one letter at a time on a machine called a Varitype. This copy and headings were printed out on paper that would then be assembled or “pasted-up” along with the headlines and advertisements for each page of the paper. Even that new technology at the time is a far cry from how the Cheviot Gazette newspaper is designed and printed today.
In the Old Days
Previously, before 1968, the whole newspaper was produced using a process called hot type. The phrase hot type (sometimes hot metal or hot lead) refers to a printing technology developed late in the 19th century in which molten lead is injected into a mold to cast metal type. When each line of words is complete, molten lead is forced against it, creating a line of the type known as a slug. If you are interested in the process, there is an informative video, that shows the process of hot type and cold type. Here is the link
The format of the Western Hills Press, and many other community newspapers, like the Price Hill News, Suburban Life, Norwood Enterprise, and the Hilltop News produced at that time by Suburban Typographics, were more “community-oriented” than most are today.
The Press had a loyal following for several reasons; local news, interesting photographs. and the community involvement of publisher, Al Huneke. He was involved! As a member of the Cheviot Westwood Kiwanis Club and the part of the Harvest Home Festival, he was very well known and respected in the community.
Team Work equals Success
At that time, Al had a great team working by his side. Ralph Gordon was the Assistant Editor of the Western Hills Press and Kate March, editor of the Price Hill News. Dan Hopwood wrote a column in the late ’60s and early 70’s called Young World. It was anti-war and anti-establishment. It drew protests from many local people including war veterans. Al Huneke was a conservative publisher, but as Dan Hopwood says, “he defended my right to speak out and drew the wrath of the community, even with the possible loss of advertisers and subscriptions. I always remember him as a wonderful patriot.”
Columns like “Off the Cuff” written for many years by Roger Miller for the Western Hills Press, wrote interesting facts about people’s lives. My family was featured in one of his columns as a few of our family members were next-door” neighbors and fell in love and married. Shirley Huth kept up with social events and personal news such as engagements and weddings. Howard McGahey, a sports editor, reported on all the local grade school, high school, basketball, baseball, football, and bowling teams. It was an honor to be featured in the Press, as it meant you were truly a part of our community.
Cheviot Gazette’s Goals
This publication is trying to achieve the goals of Al Huneke, to have this newspaper appeal to our community of Cheviot and it’s surrounding neighborhoods. We want you to look for your name and your neighbor’s name in the paper, and be excited about the happenings in our City and to get involved. We need your help in letting us know what is happening around you, in your organization, church, or neighborhood. Please feel free email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, Al Huneke, for your inspiration in the publishing world. It was a true pleasure working side by side with you. Rest in Peace!