LIMA — With its roots in the late 19th century, The Lima News has reported on the local community and its happenings for more than a century. Today, the newspaper’s readership is as large as it has ever been.
It has been a storied and challenging history for The Lima News as it has moved throughout the decades, and the early ancestor of the paper is a far cry from what comes off the presses in 2020.
“In our 136-year history, the newspaper industry has changed, just as all businesses have across the country,” Publisher Kirk Dougal said. “When I look at the newspaper today, I see that — when you add print and digital products together — we have more readers and consumers of our news and info than ever before. I think that bodes well.”
Despite some of the difficulties of the last century, readership remains strong for the paper, especially when accounting for its online readership. In 2019 alone, LimaOhio.com pulled in 28.9 million pageviews throughout the year, averaging close to 80,000 views and 27,000 visitors per day. Those numbers are up 11.5% over 2018’s readership online.
The first edition of The Lima News that readers know today was first printed on the masthead in July 21, 1926, but the papers’ roots extend into the 19th century.
The earliest version of Lima’s newspaper, known as The Daily Democratic Times, came out back in 1884, which eventually merged with a rival paper, The Lima Daily News, by 1920. In the 19th century, both papers had been printed in Lima, with the Lima Daily News occupying the spot where downtown Lima’s “The Met” stands now.
The Daily News eventually moved when a fire destroyed its Main Street workroom, and the paper changed locations to 121 E. High St. by 1909. Four decades later, another fire, causing $75,000 in damages, wrecked the High Street location, but the place was eventually remodeled to modernize the building by 1950s standards.
As for today, the newspaper is currently located on a 53,000 square-foot building located at 3515 Elida Road, where The Lima News and its printing press moved in 1995. The press sustained catastrophic damage while printing newspapers in June 2017, forcing The Lima News to outsource its printing to other presses in the region.
The paper’s name and location, however, aren’t the only things that have changed throughout the years. So too has the paper’s ownership. Since its founding, The Lima News has seen four different corporate owners, including Freedom Newspapers, Inc. starting in 1956 and Civitas Media in 2012. Its current owners, AIM Media Midwest, bought the paper in 2017.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.