To many, it's the personification of what a local newspaper should strive to be.

In the process, it's carved out quite the niche for itself as the standard-bearer for local news coverage in our area.

Much to its delight, the TIMES NEWS has been handpicked as Business of the Month by the Greater Northern Lehigh Chamber of Commerce.

Located at 594 Blakeslee Drive West, Lehighton, the business also has bureau offices at 463 Delaware Avenue in Palmerton, and Broad and Pine Streets in Tamaqua.

Fred L. Masenheimer, serves as publisher; Scott Masenheimer is vice president of operations; Robert Urban is editor; Don Reese is advertising manager; Kathy Carpenter is circulation manager; and Len Alabovitz is printing plant manager.

In addition to the daily newspaper, the TIMES NEWS also owns eight weekly newspapers, with offices at 1633 North 26th Street in Allentown, as well as 308 East Third Street in Bethlehem.

Fred Masenheimer said the TIMES NEWS is thankful for the distinction bestowed upon it by the Chamber.

"All you hear these days is how the newspaper industry is dying, but we still believe there is a good market for quality local newspapers like the TIMES NEWS and our weekly newspapers," Masenheimer said. "Our newspapers are on the web, and we keep improving our offerings there and looking to stay up to date with the evolving technology."

The newspaper can trace it's history back nearly 130 years to the Mauch Chunk Daily Times, which was established in 1883. Even then, tourism was a large part of the local economy. In addition to promoting excursions to the beautiful falls at Glen Onoko just north of the town of Mauch Chunk, that first edition noted some amazing prices for groceries: Eggs cost 22 cents a dozen, chicken was 16 cents a pound, and sugar just 10 cents a pound.

The most prominent name in the early history of the Mauch Chunk Daily Times was James J. Boyle, who served as editor and publisher from 1908 until his death in 1951. The Mauch Chunk Daily Times was very much a family operation. Boyle's son Joseph followed in his father's footsteps as a journalist and covered the town and county courthouse for many years. He was known in Carbon County as Mr. Newspaper. Joseph's sister, Gertrude Apfelbaum, was a columnist for the paper while her husband, Cy, headed the newspaper's advertising staff. Gertrude and Joseph were co-publishers of the Mauch Chunk Times News later the Jim Thorpe Times News from 1951 until 1967, when the newspaper was purchased by Pencor Services, Inc. a Palmerton based communications and entertainment company with Cable TV and Telephone interests. Newspapers during the early and mid 20th century were often owned by families. Along with the Boyle family in Mauch Chunk, there was the McCall family that owned The Lansford Record and the Miller family who published the Tamaqua Evening Courier.

In 1968, Pencor purchased the Lansford Record, and in 1971, acquired the circulation of the Tamaqua Evening Courier. The combined newspapers published under the banner of the Times News Record and Courier until 1971, when the name was changed to the TIMES NEWS.

Pencor Services founder, Claude Reinhard, a pioneer in cable television, was a person of keen foresight in the communications industry. He grew the TIMES NEWS into the primary newspaper source for Carbon County, while also serving portions of Schuylkill, Lehigh, Monroe, and Northampton counties.

In Sept. of 1987, the TIMES NEWS entered the weekly newspaper business when it purchased the East Penn Free Press published in Emmaus. Through the next two decades, more weekly newspapers were started serving school districts in the Allentown and Bethlehem areas. They include the East Penn Press, Parkland Press, the Whitehall-Coplay Press, the Northwestern Press, the Northampton Press, the Salisbury Press, the Catasauqua Press, and the Bethlehem Press. These 8 papers form the Lehigh Valley Press Group Newspapers.

These newspapers, as well as the TIMES NEWS, are printed at the TN Printing complex located on Blakeslee Boulevard, four miles West of Lehighton.

Though a separate company, TN Printing is a full service printing facility that operates three shifts seven days a week.