The New Tanner
|Serving Acton and the surrounding communities of Eden Mills, Limehouse, Nassagaweya and Rockwood|
|Founded||May 26, 1992|
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The New Tanner (formerly the Acton Tanner) is a weekly newspaper published in Acton, Ontario from 1992-present.
The Acton Tanner began publishing at 7 Mill Street East in downtown Acton, moving to 12 Church Street East within 2 years, with Paul Nolan as the founding publisher. Nolan’s family came from Glendalough in County Wicklow, Ireland. Paul had an early taste of newspaper fame, with appearances in the Acton Free Press in 1969 on his first day of school, and 1972 winning prizes at two fairs. A high school valedictorian, by 18 he was a Sports section editor of the Free Press. Two years later in 1985 he was publishing the weekly Acton Voice as a student, and purchased The Standardbred News, a biweekly journal for harness horseracing and breeding, in 1988.
For the first three weeks of its existence the Acton Tanner was distributed freely to residents, its colourful masthead a bright blue that would rotate with other eye-catching colours over time. A Tuesday publishing schedule soon became Wednesdays, charging 60 cents for a 16-20 page issue or $26.40 per annum. Local events would be filed under "The Grape Vine", and "Constable [Bill] Riddle’s Corner" safety tips, later becoming "Constable Gerry George." Nolan himself wrote many articles, along with Frances Niblock as editor and Pat Giguere covering a seniors column. A paper-within-a-paper would appear as well, the Rockwood Miller. The Tanner gave more focus to Acton information, with Nolan going so far as to butt heads with the Acton town council members. He felt the awarding of the annual advertising contract to The Georgetown Independent-Acton Free Press was “flawed in its logic”, and the council should be supporting the community newspaper, more widely read by locals than the broader, merged papers. There was an amount of chafing at the lumping in of Acton with Georgetown. Nolan’s editorials ranged from congratulating local sports teams, himself an avid soccer and hockey player, to calling out suspicious political dealings. In particular, Halton North N.D.P. MPP Noel Duignan, and a “eight-page propaganda piece, camouflaged as a hometown tabloid newspaper, and promoting itself as the newsletter of the community.”
By May of 1997, the Tanner had been suffering financial troubles, with delinquent payments by advertisers leading to a 6 month shutdown of the paper. The New Tanner would be up and running on January 29th, 1998, from the old Dills (of the Acton Free Press) Printing and Publishing Building on Willow Street North. The paper eventually settled at 373 Queen Street East, where the New Tanner Publishing exists today. Although Nolan was still heavily involved in the paper, changes were abound. The new publisher was Ted Tyler Jr., issues coming out on Thursdays, and becoming a free publication at the time. Ted Tyler’s father, Ted Sr., was Mayor of Acton from 1945-1957, and Ted Jr. was very active in the community. He owned Tyler Air, Tyler Transport Ltd. and a Radio Shack. He won Citizen of the Year in 1982, and a longtime member of the Acton Heritage Committee, leading the old Town Hall restoration.
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