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 Evening Courier published in Tamaqua. 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 September 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 The Press Publishing Group of Weekly 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.
The History of Pencor Services, Inc.
Pencor Services, Inc., (Pennsylvania ENtertainment, COmmunications and Recreation) with its corporate home in Palmerton, Pennsylvania, is the provider of a wide variety of telecommunication services. They are the result of the vision of its founder, Claude Reinhard, and his sons, Donald and Fred who have followed in his footsteps.
Claude's dream was to make television signal reception available in Palmerton.
In 1951 Claude Reinhard, with the financial help of a few investors, founded the Palmerton TV Signal Corporation. An antenna was erected at the top of the Blue Mountain and a pole line was built from the mountaintop to the Sokol Hall on Lehigh Avenue in Palmerton, where Philadelphia channels 3, 6, and 10 were demonstrated to the public for the first time. From this initial cable event, the company, Blue Ridge Cable Technologies, Inc. has evolved into one of the top 25 cable providers in the United States, with service to 179,000 subscribers in 15 counties of Eastern and Central Pennsylvania.
The company further expanded its interest in communications when it purchased the Palmerton Telephone Company in 1955 and the Blue Ridge Telephone Company in 1956, which now provides 13,000 access lines to subscribers in Palmerton, Bowmanstown, Kresgeville, Kunkletown and surrounding areas.
To keep the public informed about enhancements in cable TV and its programming, Cable Grams, a weekly publication, was established in 1967. With his interest in the newspaper business piqued, Reinhard purchased the Jim Thorpe Times News and within two years added the circulation of the Lansford and Tamaqua daily newspapers. In 1987 a weekly newspaper was purchased in Emmaus and since then six other weekly newspapers were started serving school districts in the Allentown area. TN Printing, a commercial sheet fed and web press printing division, grew along with the newspaper business.
Staying ahead of the curve with technology, Pencor invested in several wireless ventures in the early 1990's and became a long distance carrier when Palmerton Long Distance was launched.
In 1994, an Internet service provider partnership, PenTeleData, Inc., was formed and now serves over 91,000 dial-up, cable modem and commercial customers over a large area of Pennsylvania and part of New Jersey. The partnership operates the largest privately owned fiber optic and cable network in Pennsylvania and was the first in the country to offer high speed internet service over cable.
In 2005, the creation of an eighth weekly paper, the Bethlehem Press, was introduced to meet the needs of the residents of Bethlehem.
As the public interest in purchasing telecommunications devices exploded, Pencor Superstore sites were opened to meet the needs of customers for cable, telephone, Internet, cellular, paging equipment and associated services.
Today, Pencor Services and its subsidiaries employ more than 1,000 people who continue to grow the vision of Claude Reinhard and his pioneering spirit.