WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD T IMES 110TH ANNIVERSARY AUGUST 2, 2018 21
The forces of changing times
A few weeks after celebrating
its 81st anniversary, on Sept.
7, 1989, the Ridgewood Times
made a change that reflected its
growth through the decade.
The paper rebranded itself as the
Times Newsweekly, a name recognizing
that the paper now served more than
the Greater Ridgewood area. Under
the guidance of publisher Maureen
Walthers, the newspaper now reached
hundreds of thousands of people in western
Queens. The coverage area stretched
from Astoria down to Howard Beach.
A 2007 presentation of the Cop of the Month award at the 108th
Precinct Community Council meeting
Part of that growth in coverage
could be attributed to the paper’s close
relationship with the NYPD, one that
Walthers and former managing editor
Bill Mitchell worked to cultivate. The
Times Newsweekly covered eight
diff erent police precinct and their
respective community councils, the
organizations of local residents and
business owners who help connect
cops to their communities.
Crime stories from all across western
Queens fi lled the paper, more detailed
and straightforward than items from
competing outlets. The Times Newsweekly
also recognized the positive contributions
of local police by sponsoring
the Cop of the Month award, presented
at the community council meetings to
offi cers who made “good arrests” in the
line of duty or helped crack important
cases that kept the community safe.
It was just one way the Times Newsweekly
stayed in touch with the community.
The paper also co-sponsored, with
the Kiwanis Club of Glendale, a “Scary
Story Contest” challenging youngsters
to “scare the yell out of everyone” with
their creative, fi ctitious tales. Along
with earning cash prizes, the winners
had their stories published in the Times
The paper has also been proud through
the years to feature photos of events of all
PROGRESS IN THE TIMES
Serving Queens And Brooklyn For 107 Years
The Scary Story Contest award presentation in 2014
A New Era: Queens Courier Acquires The Times
kinds — block parties, school concerts, parades,
sporting events, award ceremonies,
etc. It’s a tradition we’re proud to continue
to this day.
Over the last 20 years, however, the
paper and the country went through
diffi cult times for very diff erent reasons.
First, the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11,
2001 took the lives of 3,000 Americans,
including more than 2,700 at the World
Trade Center. Hundreds of the victims
hailed from Queens and, in particular,
the Times Newsweekly coverage area.
For 32 consecutive weeks aft er the
attacks, the paper published “The Lost
List,” a documentation of the victims
who had died in the attack on, and collapse
of, the Twin Towers. The list was
republished on the fi rst, 10th and 15th
anniversary of the attacks.
The Times Newsweekly also featured
stories about some of the victims of
9/11, and the funerals of the many local
fi refi ghters and police offi cers who died
while responding to the attacks. The
paper would also cover the renaming
of local streets and public plazas in
honor of the 9/11 victims, and cover the
various memorial services held every
Sept. 11 since.
The second costly event would be
the Great Recession of 2006-09. The
worst economic crisis since the Great
Depression took a toll on the city and
the newspaper alike.
Looking to balance the budget, the
city tried to shut down fi rehouses and
cut back services important to local residents.
The Times Newsweekly fought
with local residents every step of the way
to save fi rehouses from being closed and
opposed cutbacks to senior services.
Meanwhile, the paper, along with
other print mediums, struggled with
not just the Great Recession but also
the changing economics of the journalism
industry. The paper had to lay off
workers and truncate its coverage area
slightly to get through the lean times.
The Times Newsweekly suff ered
another blow in June of 2014, when
John T. Walthers, the paper’s owner
and president, suddenly died. Ownership
reverted back to Maureen
Walthers, and at age 81, she sought a
new direction for the paper.
In February 2015, Walthers sold
the Ridgewood Times and Times
Newsweekly to Victoria and Joshua
Schneps, publishers of Schneps Communications,
which owns more than
a dozen newspapers and magazines
covering Brooklyn, Queens and
Long Island. Almost immediately, the
Schneps instituted numerous changes
to the publication — including altering
the format to print in all-color and
eliminating jump pages, while also
publishing articles from the Greater
Ridgewood area every day on QNS.
com, the borough’s leading digital
While operations changed, the
Schneps kept on board three people
who had been with the paper for decades:
Deborah Cusick, the classifi ed
manager who began working at the
Ridgewood Times in 1980; Marlene
Ruiz, assistant classifi ed manager who
joined the Ridgewood Times in 1988;
and Robert Pozarycki, who started out
as a reporter in 2005 and now serves
as editor-in-chief of the Ridgewood
Times and its sister publication, The
Long-time readers know how much
the Ridgewood Times and Times
Newsweekly has evolved dramatically
over the past few years. Even so, we
remain committed to the community
and telling your stories for many more
decades to come.
VOL. 106, NO. 28 www.timesnewsweekly.com
On Twitter @timesnewsweekly THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2015 50 CENTS
Maspeth High Schoolers Donate Pints For Patients At Blood Drive
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story and photo by Robert Pozarycki
Schneps Communications, which owns The Queens Courier, Brooklyn Spectator, Home Reporter,
El Correo and 16 other newspapers and magazines in Brooklyn and Queens, purchased the nearly 107-
year-old Times Newsweekly and Ridgewood Times last Friday, Feb. 6.
“We are thrilled to be able to carry on and grow the
legacy of the most valued, trusted and respected news
organization serving Ridgewood, Bushwick, Middle
Village, Glendale and Maspeth,” Victoria Schneps-Yunis
and Joshua Schneps, the respective publisher and copublisher
of Schneps Communications, said in a joint
statement. “This acquisition helps us grow our stable of
award-winning content and offer clients the most effective
way of reaching residents in one of the fastest growing parts
of Queens and Brooklyn.”
“From one family to another, I am happy to pass the
torch onto Victoria and Joshua, as I know they are best
positioned to grow the papers,” added Maureen Walthers,
previous publisher, editor and owner of the Ridgewood
Times and Times Newsweekly. “I am confident they will
continue to provide our loyal and dedicated readers and
advertisers with the great local coverage they’ve come to
expect for more than a century.”
Maureen Walthers will stay on staff through May as part
of the transition.
Sold on newsstands every Thursday for its entire
existence—and mailed to thousands of subscribers acros
the country—the Times Newsweekly/Ridgewood Times is
recognized as the “paper of record” for the Greater
Ridgewood area, covering civic meetings, community
matters, school functions and other local events.
Additionally, the paper profiles notable persons and
groups in the neighborhood and showcases community
history in its “Old Timer” column. It sponsors the Cop of
the Month award at six local precincts and a Scary Story
contest for area children each fall.
Schneps Communications aims to not only continue the
papers’ mission to readers, but also introduce an updated
print format and an enhanced digital presence.
Former Ridgewood Times owner Maureen Walthers (at left)
and the paper’s new owner, Victoria Schneps-Yunis (at right).
Thousands gathered at Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village for a candlelight
vigil on Sept. 16, fi ve days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.