The Spencer Magnet - Keeping the community in touch and in tune with things that are important

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Address: 100 West Main Street
Number of employees: 4
In business since: 1867
Phone: 502-477-2239
Website: www.spencermagnet.com
Hours: Mon - Fri 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Among businesses, the local newspaper plays a unique role. Obviously, like any other for-profit venture, one goal is to turn a profit. We strive to provide a product that is interesting and attracts readers, which in turn, attracts advertisers. Advertisers use these pages to address those same readers, whom they hope will be converted into customers.

Newspapers, like all businesses, must pay heed to the bottom line. However, that isn’t necessarily our top priority.

Newspapers have a civic responsibility that even our founding fathers recognized as vital in our society. Our obligation is to keep the community in touch and in tune with things that should be important to them.

If successful, the newspaper becomes an integral part of the community, an invaluable resource that is anticipated each week to bring readers the latest news and information that impacts their lives.

For nearly 150 years, The Spencer Magnet has filled that role in our community.

In 1867, just two years after the Civil War, a Confederate army veteran by the name of William T. Burton published the first edition of what was then known as the Spencer Journal. Burton, who was also an attorney and a Judge, died at the young age of 35, but he left the paper to J.W. Crutcher, a local printer. Later, at some point, the name was changed to the Spencer Courier.

In the early 1920s, a woman by the name of Katie Beauchamp purchased the paper. She also served as superintendent of schools and she used the paper to promote the district. Beauchamp, who ran the paper with her sister, noticed that the publication was something that drew people together, so she changed the newspaper’s name to the Spencer Magnet.

In 1939, Claude Brock went to work at the Magnet, but WWII took him away from Taylorsville for a few years. However, when he learned the newspaper was for sale, he and wife Dolly returned and became owners of the Spencer Magnet. It remained in the family for over 40 years.

Claude did the reporting and worked the linotype machine while Dolly sold advertising, worked the front desk and set type. Before the age of computers, printing out a newspaper was a tedious task, but one completed each week. Times changed and so did technology. With each new era, the Brocks kept up by learning new skills while continuing to provide the community with a hometown newspaper they relied on. Health issues finally forced Claude to retire in the 1970s, but Dolly held on for another 15 years. In 1990, she sold the Spencer Magnet to Landmark Community Newspapers.

The Magnet has remained under the same ownership now for more than 25 years. We’ve benefited from being part of a network of many quality community newspapers in this region of the state, and other states as well, allowing us to pool our resources for better coverage, and also offering a broad market for our advertisers.

However, the emphasis on being Spencer County’s primary news source continues. More than anything, we take pride in being the voice of the county and take seriously that responsibility.

The local newspaper is more than just a display of current events -- it is a chronicle of a community over the course of many years. Small community newspapers like The Spencer Magnet are actually history books written one week at a time.