Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Longtime 'Times-Leader' Production Director Tom Norton Dies at 76

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Longtime 'Times-Leader' Production Director Tom Norton Dies at 76

Article excerpt

Thomas E. Norton, who retired 12 years ago as production director of the Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., died on May 16. He was 76.

A Times Leader employee since 1951, Norton was remembered as "a real stickler for quality," according to an obituary in his paper. "He took an extreme amount of pride in what he did," said his son, Thomas R. Norton. "The newspaper was his life."

In his 46 years at the Times Leader, Norton saw the industry change from hot type to digital imagesetting and from letterpress to offset printing. In the mid-1990s, he oversaw the move to a new production plant -- the first to take a manroland Geoman offset color tower press into operation in the U.S.

Calling Norton "a legend," E.W. Scripps Newspaper Operations Vice President Mark Contreras, the Times Leader's publisher when the new plant was put into production, told staff writer Geri Anne Kaikowski, "We were really blessed by having him work at The Times Leader." Contreras said he recalled Norton talking about new press, "saying that we needed it to be competitive in the market. He was right. We had great color quality after that and it helped us in generating a lot of revenue."

Norton held several jobs after apprenticing in production. He was among those who stayed at the paper and helped it restart publication after more than 200 union members walked out in 1978. That bitter strike led to creation of the still-competing Citizen's Voice, the striking unions' eventual decertification, and the Times Leader's successful effort to regain circulation. …

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