A snapshot of the history of the Central Western Daily by former CWD sub-editor Elisabeth Edwards:
The first Orange newspaper, the Western Examiner and Orange, Molong, Wellington, Dubbo and Lachlan Advertiser, was published on 7 December 1861. It was founded by Michael Francis Cahill in a building in Summer Street believed to have been where the Parkview Hotel now stands.
Cahill left Orange a few years later. Several others became owners of the paper over the next couple of decades, including Richard Bates in 1867, H A Thompson in 1869, Richard Bates again in 1869, George Hall and John Star Thomas in 1870, then George Hall as sole proprietor in 1873.
John Star Thomas launched the Western Advocate on 10 June 1874 in opposition to the Examiner, which survived another four years. Sometime in the late 19th century premises were acquired on the eastern side of Lords Place.
In 1876 the Advocate was bought by George William Morrison, who sold it two years later to William Cunningham Evans and Thomas Worthy Weir. In 1886 James Torpy Senior bought the paper and his son, James Walwayne Torpy, later took over.
In 1906, because of insufficient capital, Torpy was forced to dispose of the paper to a group of compositors at the paper in lieu of wages. Trading under the name Fitzgerald Bowers & Co, they were John Fitzgerald, James Bowers, William Bowers, Robert Newton and George Thompson.
Fitzgerald died not long after becoming editor and James Walwayne Torpy was recalled to become editor.
In 1924 the Advocate moved to new premises across Lords Place.
James Walwayne Torpy died in 1931. Over time, only two of the original partners – James Bowers and George Thompson – remained. Bowers died in 1936 and Thompson became the sole proprietor.
Thompson disposed of it in 1945 to Western Daily Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Western Newspapers Ltd, but retained an interest in it until his death in 1948.
Another newspaper, the Orange Liberal, was started in 1878. In February 1879 ownership was registered to William Head, and in May that year it was transferred to Nicholas Head. The paper was operated from premises on the southern side of the Foresters’ Hall. In 1890 the name of the paper was changed to the Orange Leader.
In 1894, the poet and author William Goodge became proprietor and editor. A later proprietor and editor, in the early years of the 20th century, was Ernest Shoebridge Carr, who did much to boost the circulation of the paper. It merged with the Advocate to become the Central Western Daily in 1945.
The Advocate and the Leader were bought by Western Daily Pty Ltd in July 1945 and continued as separate tri-weeklies for three months, before being amalgamated, becoming the Central Western Daily. The first edition of the CWD was published on Monday, 1 October. The new paper operated from the former Advocate premises in Lords Place.
The Central Western Daily started publishing from new premises in Kite Street on 11 October 1965.
In 1967 Australian Consolidated Press took a 25 per cent interest in Western Newspapers Ltd and gradually increased its share to become the majority shareholder.
On 20 November 1985 The Herald and Weekly Times bought Western Newspapers Ltd, publishers of the Central Western Daily, from Australian Consolidated Press.
The free weekly paper the MidState Observer was first published on 30 April 1986. On 16 March 1987 Macquarie Publications, controlled by John Armati, bought Western Newspapers Ltd.
In December 1996, Macquarie sold the Western Newspapers group and its other newspapers to Rural Press Ltd. On 9 May 2007 Rural Press Ltd merged with Fairfax Media Ltd.
The Central Western Daily has remained at the Kite Street site but from 13 November 1997 printing was transferred to Dubbo, at the upgraded Rural Press Ltd printing site, using new pre-press technology at the Orange office.
Compositors in the Central Western Daily’s commercial printing department Barry Darley and Jack Fitzpatrick.
Working at linotype machines at the Central Western Daily are Barry Darley, Peter Thorncraft, Bill Taylor and Eris McKenzie.