Tune in Thursdays to Vindy Talk Radio

What are you doing Thursday mornings?

I’d like to invite you to a cool new extension of The Vindicator — Vindy Talk Radio aired over Vindy.com, accessible from your computer or your mobile devices. Or even on AM 1540 of your trusty transistor radio, if you still have one.

If you’ve tuned in lately, you’ve heard:

YSU Trustee Scott Schulick say that Dr. Cynthia Anderson never got a fair shake as president from some of her peers.

Judge R. Scott Krichbaum stress that order in the court is not as hard as judges make it to be.

New Mahoning Sheriff Jerry Greene have a spirited chat with the Vindy’s Bertram de Souza.

It’s been quite a forum so far.

Our venture with local talk-radio guy Louie Free is the result of a test idea we launched when the elections rolled through in November:

We wanted to use the new tools of the Internet to bring our vast exposure to election issues and candidates directly to you — live — in the days before the vote and on election night.

From that start, we’ve evolved into a nice routine that is finding a home in our newsroom Thursday mornings. And we’d like you to join us.

For more than a century, newspapers plied their trade in printed form. A newspaper is a transcription made up of previous happenings — often in the last 24 hours, but sometimes in the last seven days. The Vindicator has been doing that since 1869 under one name or another, first as a weekly, then as a daily.

Over time, that trusted work developed a Valley voice — even in printed form. But now, we have an actual voice.

It’s not new for our industry.

Many newspapers have dabbled in television and radio for decades. (We often sport the proverbial “faces made for radio.”)

Newspaper organizations routinely have partnered with broadcast friends to inform and educate. You see newspaper people on Sunday morning news programs, and you hear them on sports-talk radio.

It’s with good reason.

Newspapers historically have had the most robust team of journalists in any community in terms of quantity. Your advertising dollars and subscription payments were great investments by you for vital community information — which was your newspaper.

Today, media and journalism have had perhaps the most significant period of expansion due to the Internet.

We’ve made good use of it as well at the Vindy, and our radio program is our latest, and hopefully, not our last.

Louie Free, an acquired taste who talks out of 1540-AM WYCL, has been a great steward for us in this project. He’s been a longtime friend to the Vindy and a lifetime fan of newspapers.

He’s moved his Thursday show from 8 a.m. to noon out of a woodsy nook in Niles and into our newsroom. That’s formed the foundation of this new idea.

The Thursday morning lineup, which also airs live over AM 1540, is a mix of Free’s normal talkfest with Vindy options mixed in:

@ 8:30 a.m., we review the headlines of the day and the week.

@ 10 a.m., Vindy staffers jump in and share info and insights from their fields. De Souza is never shy near the mic. The same is true for politics writer David Skolnick. This past Thursday, managing editor Mark Sweetwood and Boardman/ Poland reporter Ashley Luthern sat in to talk about new gun-law proposals and other issues.

@ 11 a.m., Free and I had a detailed Q&A with Schulick.

Though radio is new for current staffers, it’s not foreign to The Vindicator ownership group, having once owned WFMJ-AM and WQXK-FM for decades.

The Internet makes it easy for us to produce the show directly from the newsroom. It’s an ironic coincidence to the way our founding publisher was celebrated about 120 years ago: “Although he had little money, he had courage, enterprise and industry.”

That’s how we operate these days, as well.

The Internet, while fabulous for media in many ways, also has led to a significant advertising shift toward the Yahoos and Facebooks. That audience hit, which some national advertisers followed with their dollars, has impacted the investments you’ve made in us and in our ability to serve.

So, we employ courage and enterprise and industry to try different things to keep on the cutting edge. On top of our Facebook and Twitter efforts, there is Vindy.com and now Vindy Talk Radio.

And, of course, our print edition featuring the most robust reporting in the Valley.

Next week’s radio show will feature Tom Humphries and Sarah Boyarko from the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber talking about the 2013 economic prospects for the Valley.

Our goal is to have the best, brightest and brashest of the Valley take part in Vindy Talk Radio.

Please join us.

Todd Franko is editor of The Vindicator. He likes emails about stories and our newspaper. Email him at tfranko@vindy.com. He blogs, too, on vindy.com. Tweet him, too, at @tfranko.