The growth of the Port Stephens Examiner from a small family-run newspaper in the 1970s to a major local employer two decades later is one connected to the rapid population growth on the Tomaree Peninsula.
Former editor Keith Campbell remembers those boom years with fondness.
"It took off about the mid-80s, the area really started to grow. The development of Salamander estate was another big growth spurt for the area," he said.
"Prior to that everything was limited to the small little towns of Fingal, Shoal Bay and Nelson Bay and Salamander Bay was just a small little strip but now there's 8000 people that live there."
After teaching for four years in the central west of NSW, Mr Campbell opted for a career change, joining the Examiner in 1977.
He joined older brother Don who had been running the masthead since 1975 following their father's retirement.
"We'd be regularly at 84-96 pages, even during winter we might go back to 60 or 72 but a good size and good community information," he said.
"We reported on police, we reported on court and we reported on council. You get those three things right in a local newspaper and people will flock to it."
The paper was at a different stage when Mr Campbell joined in the late 1970s with two part time staff in advertising and three part time compositors helping put the newspaper together.
It was truly a family affair. The Campbells and their respective wives Cheryl and Denise filled the full time roles while Don's son Byron later joined followed by Keith's daughter Tess.
By the end of the 1990s the staff had grown to 32 with offices in Raymond Terrace and Nelson Bay.
Mr Campbell said with improved infrastructure the region grew rapidly.
"In the '60s the Stockton Bridge hadn't been opened. It didn't open until 1972, so there were only two ways to get to Newcastle from here," he said.
"You went to Stockton and caught a ferry across or you drove down through Tomago.
"Once that bridge opened up it was a real catalyst for growth because people could realistically live here and drive to work in Newcastle."
The Campbells sold to Fairfax in 2004 with Don retiring and Keith staying on as editor until 2011 when Anna Wolf took over.
As the paper celebrates its 130 year anniversary, Mr Campbell said there are many cherished memories.
"Just to survive that long and during that time there were three Browns who were editors, there were three Campbells who were editors then there was Anna Wolf," he said. "That's it, seven editors in all that time which is incredible."
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