Doug Nutter
Doug Nutter

Progress Editor

PAULDING – After 41 years in the newspaper business, Doug Nutter is looking forward to his most important deadline. At 5 p.m. Friday, March 15, he will be retired as publisher of the Paulding County Progress.

Nutter started at Paulding in October 2007 after serving as ad manager at the Delphos Herald for six years.

“It was exciting going from ad manager to publisher,” he said. “It was a successful paper with an experienced staff. It met my expectations from day one.”

Nutter graduated from Napoleon High School and attended Kent State University, where he majored in business. While working at Dinner Bell, he responded to a help wanted ad to sell advertising for a biweekly paper called the RFD News in Napoleon.

“Selling advertising came to me naturally. I’ve always loved meeting new people and talking to them. That’s how my career began.”

After a couple of years, he became ad manager at the regional Farmland News, which had an eight-county coverage area and over 8,000 subscribers. Every day, Nutter was on the road, visiting communities throughout the counties and beyond, from Hillsdale, Mich., to Toledo to Lima. His average route was 150 miles a day.

Nutter stayed at Farmland News for 17 years, then took a different direction. In 2000, he moved to Florida where he worked as advertising manager for The Villages Daily Sun at The Villages. He quickly decided Florida wasn’t for him and in 2001 began working for the Delphos Herald.

Technology has revolutionized most industries in the last 40 years, and the publishing business is no exception. Computers didn’t come into widespread use in offices until around 2000, enabling stories, ads, pages and entire newspapers to be composed digitally.

“It used to be when we designed ads, there were these long, wide pieces of paper with the copy (text) that we’d cut apart with scissors, run through a waxer and place the pieces where you wanted them.”

Photos were produced using film and darkrooms before digital cameras and smartphones. When you didn’t have time for film, you used Polaroid cameras that gave you instant photos. “You’d take the picture, pull it out of the camera, pull off the paper and wait for it to develop.”

The Internet and social media have allowed information to be spread immediately. It’s also changed the way people interact.

“We had no email, no faxes,” Nutter recalls. “All communication was either by phone or face-to-face. Most ad calls were in person. With today’s technology, most people now prefer email.”

However, he adds, “what hasn’t changed is our emphasis on local sports, local government, local news. Those are still things you can’t access through social media.”

Another thing that hasn’t changed is a newspaper’s role in the community.

“Who else will cover community and county news like your local paper There’s no other outlet if you’re interested in your community,” Nutter said. “We want to let our subscribers and the public know what’s going on and things that affect them. The local newspaper is always going to be important.”

Nutter has met a lot of people around the county and made many friends. He formerly played on a golf league with a lot of them. “I will treasure those memories.”

He also will miss the people he has worked with here.

“The best thing about this job in Paulding has been working with this staff,” Nutter said. “They’ve made my job here easier.

“I’m very proud of the Progress,” he continued. “It looks fantastic, better than ever after our redesign – our looks and quality from an advertising, design and editorial standpoint. Our columns are outstanding. I hope people agree. We’ve won a lot of awards.”

He enjoys when people comment on how much they enjoy the paper and how great it is.

“This same staff will take my ideas forward into the future,” Nutter said. Instead of bringing in a new publisher, the Progress will be run by the department heads. Erica Habern is office manager and will assume most administrative duties. Susan Bohner will oversee advertising. Melinda Krick will continue to oversee editorial content.

“We have an extremely experienced staff that has been here many years and is capable of handling the day-to-day business.”

Nutter is ready to devote more time to his vegetable and flower gardens and to travel with his wife, who is retired from teaching. He also has two children and four grandchildren.

“I’ve worked since I was 14. I’m ready to enjoy life and the things I love doing,” he said. “I’ve loved my job. If it had it to do over I’d still stay in newspapers.”