Dear Neighbor,

Thank you for reading our newspaper. It means a great deal to us that the stories we share bring us together. As the days collect into years, we celebrate community milestones. This time, it’s one of ours.

The South Pittsburgh Reporter has changed hands for the first time generations. Our stalwart Writer, Editor, and Publisher, Tom Smith, has retired. His leadership went far beyond the headlines. He championed causes and nonprofits across our neighborhoods. He stepped into a role pioneered by his mother, Roberta, and improved upon it in every way.

The Smith Family has taken care of our paper and the communities of Allentown, Arlington, Beltzhoover, Bon Air, Carrick, Knoxville, Mount Oliver, Mount Washington, and South Side Flats and Slopes since the 1970s. They saw us through the collapse of the steel industry and into a Pittsburgh that leads the world in education, medicine, and technology. As our world changed, the Smiths’ voice was there for us. The Reporter is the coffee companion in the morning and the drinker’s discussion at night.

I’m the new owner of The Reporter. My name is Foo.

Some of you may recognize me from covering thousands of events over decades. Others may know me from my time as Co-director of Randyland, where I welcomed visitors to Pittsburgh from around the world. And some of you I have yet to meet, but I hope to call you friends one day. My voice is different than the Smiths’, but with time, I hope it is just as welcoming.

I’ll try to answer some of the immediate questions you may have:
The Reporter will remain a free publication. You can access it online until we find a way to print again. But please consider our website beta. Over the next six months, our focus is on digitizing the archives and displaying them in a modern format.

This may come as a shock, but we’re crossing bridges now. My reporting covers Pittsburgh’s 91 neighborhoods (And Mt. Oliver). We’ll simply be The Pittsburgh Reporter to reflect this. This is a throw back to what we were called before the 1970s. Don’t worry, South Pittsburgh will always be our priority.

I’ve also acquired other newspapers and magazines. I’m working with them to preserve our shared history. I fear if we don’t do this now, those papers may be lost to a digital dark age. This process looks different for each one, but I will try to provide a loving home for community news.

Lastly, our future is video. Whether on the big screen or a mobile phone, our journalism will help broadcast our communities’ best stories to the world.

The Reporter has been part of Pittsburgh’s DNA since 1939. God willing we’ll make it to 100 years and beyond.

Your friend,

P.S. For the fact checkers out there: Pittsburgh’s 91st Neighborhood is the one in our hearts – Mister Rogers Neighborhood.

Foo, editor of The Pittsburgh Reporter, guides our newsrooms and meets neighbors. He shares heartfelt stories often overlooked.