The Taber Times is a community newspaper published every Wednesday by the Alta Newspaper Group Limited Partnership. Besides The Taber Times, this group includes four other community newspapers in Southern Alberta, the Coaldale Sunny South News, the Vauxhall Advance, the Bow Island County Commentator and the Lethbridge Sun Times; two daily newspapers, the Lethbridge Herald and the Medicine Hat News and two specialty farm publications, the Prairie Post and the Prairie Post West.
With a paid, weekly circulation of 3,322 copies per issue, The Times serves the town of Taber as well as the villages and hamlets within the Municipal District of Taber.
The Times strives to present an accurate and interesting reflection of community affairs and a forum for public opinion. Market surveys have shown high readership levels as local residents tend to take an avid interest in the affairs of the community.
The Times is a member of the Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association and the Canadian Community Newspaper Association and, over the years, the paper and its staff have consistently won several awards for their reporting, editorials, design, photography, columns, innovative ideas and general excellence.
The Taber Times was originally called The Taber Free Press and began publishing in February 1907. In 1910 the name was changed to The Taber Advertiser and lasted for only a year until May 13, 1911 when the first issue of The Taber Times was published.
After changing hands several times in the previous decades, The Times came under the control of Arthur Avery in 1927. For the next 40 years Avery acted as both publisher and editor of the newspaper.
The January 20, 1955 issue of The Taber Times ran two picture pages which are believed to be the first-ever offset printed pages in a newspaper in Western Canada and perhaps all of Canada. This set the stage for the introduction of offset printing in the newspaper business.
The next major step for The Times came in the first issue of October 1969 after The Times was sold to H. George Meyer, who, shortly after, formed a partnership with Walter Koyanagi.
The decision then was made to replace the sheet-fed offset press with a new web offset press. Printing then switched from sheets to rolls of newsprint.
The job of printing and folding the papers, which had taken two and half days, was done by the new web press in just two and a half hours.
This new press was the first web offset press south of Calgary, and it was not long before other papers, as they converted to the offset method, sent their papers to Taber to be printed.
Meyer and Koyanagi purchased the Coaldale Sunny South News in the early 1970s and then founded the Vauxhall Advance in 1978. They continued to own and operate the three newspapers until September 1987 when it was sold to David Carpenter who formed a new company called Taber Publications.
On May 1, 1989, Carpenter sold the three community papers and the printing operation, which was now printing more than 20 community, university, college and high school newspapers, to Armadale Co. Limited. Armadale’s other holdings at the time included The Regina Leader Post and the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix plus three weekly newspapers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
On December 31, 1995, Armadale announced it was selling its Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta interests to Hollinger Inc. The Taber, Coaldale and Vauxhall newspapers and the community printing operations were included in this transaction.
Four months later, Hollinger transferred its ownership of the three southern Alberta weekly newspapers to The Thompson Newspaper Group. The sale was completed November 1 of the same year.
In conjunction with this sale, the newspaper presses were relocated to The Lethbridge Herald’s building, where all printing is now being done.
In November of 2000, this same group of papers once again sold and now form the Alta Newspaper Group Limited Partnership.