Westfield/Mayville Rotary hears from regional publisher

Michael Bird, regional publisher of the Westfield Republican/Mayville Sentinel News, The Post-Journal, OBSERVER (Dunkirk) and Times Observer (Warren, Pa.), was speaker for the Westfield/Mayville Rotary Club in January and spotlighted the weekly Westfield Republican newspaper.

Ogden Newspapers, owner of the local papers, is a diversified media corporation that publishes 40 daily newspapers, several magazines, weekly newspapers and shoppers located in 12 states from Florida to upstate New York and as far west as Maui, Hawaii. The company has been headquartered in Wheeling, W.Va, since Sept. 22, 1890.

Bird has been employed by Ogden since 1992, having several positions with the company including publisher for The Salem News, Salem, Ohio, and the Daily Mining Gazette in Houghton, Mich. He was commercial printing sales/manager for The Post-Journal from 1992 to 1997 and publisher for the Republican/Sentinel from 1997 to 1999.

It might be said he “came home” again when he returned to become regional publisher of the four county papers.

Born in San Diego, Calif., he attended high school in northeast Texas and college at a small college in Kilgore, Texas. His wife of 20 years, whom he met in Arizona, is from Frewsburg. Eventually, they moved back to Chautauqua County to be close to her family and raise their four children in the town of Kiantone. His oldest son is married and has one child, which makes Bird a grandpa.

Bird oversees all aspects of the papers from editing to business concerns. He said he had to bring the weeklies in line with finances so decided not to fill the editor position in Westfield. Since most of that person’s time is putting together the publications, Jeremy Izzio paginates the papers from his office at the OBSERVER in Dunkirk.

In addition to the weeklies, the Quality Guide, an advertising paper, is inserted each week. Handling that and making sure all goes well with the Westfield in-house papers as general manager is Jim Saxton, who was introduced by Bird.

Although the papers are limited to a certain number of pages each week, Bird said that “small weeklies survive because of the people in the community. We need your support and we want to know what you’re doing. And, we would like to have more sports.”

Bird noted that should anyone have questions, a call to Peggy in the office 326-3163 will provide an answer or lead the person in the right direction to get one.