Former Courier Express Employees Look Back
By Mark Scott
Buffalo, NY – Former employees of the Buffalo Courier-Express gathered for a reunion picnic in Tonawanda Monday. September will mark the 20th anniversary of the Courier's demise.
The cooler was filled with beer and pop. Hot dogs, hamburgers and sausages sizzled on the grill. And dozens of Courier employees, many of them now retired from the newspaper business, talked about old times.
It's been 20 years since Buffalo became a one newspaper town. Reporter Deb Williams remembers putting together the final edition of the Courier-Express.
"I remember feeling the presses and going down into the press room," Williams said. "Then we went over to Ray Flynn's on Main Street. People kept coming in. It was kind of like a wake."
Don Barry was the Courier's long-time city editor. He felt the Courier-Express put out a product superior to the then Buffalo Evening News. But it was the News that won out. Yet, Barry, a life-long newspaperman, is pessimistic about the long-term prospects for his industry.
"Young people today are on the internet," Barry said. "Or they get their news from e-mail or Jay Leno, but not from newspapers. They don't even buy them."
Barry said of his seven adult children, five don't subscribe to a daily paper. While that may be painful for him, for the rest of those who gathered Monday, it wasn't the future they were talking about, it was the past. These former Courier-Express employees shared stories about a once great newspaper that thousands of Western New Yorkers found on their door-step each and every morning.