Beacon Publisher announces retirement after 40 years

Feb 1, 2023 | Featured, Business | 3 comments

Publisher John Schaffner and his wife, Mary Alice.

From its humble beginnings in February of 1983, The Beacon has had but one purpose…publish and distribute a community newspaper for Port Clinton, Catawba Island, Marblehead, the Lake Erie Islands and Oak Harbor designed to help people live here better. The marketing philosophy:

  • Distribute this community newspaper throughout the designated marketplace providing sufficient newsstand copies for secondary residents and visitors.
  • Publish 100% “Hyper-Local” News content focused on “positive” news and events in the communities we serve.
  • Design and publish community advertising that will encourage local economic activity.

For 40 years, The Beacon (owned and operated by Schaffner Publications, Inc.) stayed true to that founding set of principles.

Since its founding in 1983, many changes have taken place in the marketplace we serve, particularly in these past 3 years, dealing with Covid. In the beginning, employment in our area was provided by a group of local industries. The local economy was also aided by a growing tourism industry due to our strategic location along the shores of Lake Erie.

In response to the changing marketplace, Schaffner Publications added on to its family of businesses. 22 years ago, we launched the North Coast Business Journal, serving Erie, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca and Huron Counties in northern Ohio. In keeping up with the advances in technology that has affected all of our businesses, we also launched Destination Designs, a Web Site design and development company to assist local businesses with e-marketing strategies. In line with this focus, ALL of our publications have a digital component to assist in distribution of news and advertising. Because all of our publications are FREE, internet publishing has only enhanced our print publications, not taken from it.

As we enter our 41st year in business, we remain dedicated to our mission of informing, entertaining and involving our communities in service to each other. Schaffner Publications stands for “positive excellence” in service to our readers.

As we observe the 40th Anniversary of The Beacon, I believe the time has come to announce my RETIREMENT and step away for Schaffner Publications, Inc. I have decided to turn all operations and management over to younger people, Ali Hermes, Director of Operations, and the wonderful team that continues to have the same fire and dedication to serving our base mission as I did in February of 1983. I plan to continue as a contractor just to cover local sports and write my Telltales column. My focus now is Destination Designs.

I’d like to thank our readers and advertisers for their loyalty and support over these last 40 years and I ask that you continue to support SPI as you have the past. You won’t stop seeing me around Ottawa County that’s a given!

-John Schaffner

Bayside Comfort

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  1. Bill

    Congratulations, may your retirement life be as remarkable as your career. The dedication to your business and the greater community is unrivaled. I have personally enjoyed reading your newspaper since its inception. Best wishes!

  2. Scott Gresser

    Congratulations John. You have given us your all and we all appreciate it. Now enjoy the time for yourself.

  3. Dianne Jones

    Congratulations John & Mary Alice!!! (I remember those early days with the Willford & Appel kids rubber-banding Beacons and packing them into carriers for delivery.)


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