Pounds: Toledo Free Press to close

Pounds: Toledo Free Press to close

We fought long and hard to make sure this day would never come, but it’s with a heavy heart that I must announce Toledo Free Press is closing.


Between years of legal wrangling and ongoing struggles with predatory ad pricing from a competitor, business conditions are such that we can no longer continue.

When I started Toledo Free Press 10 years ago, I pledged this newspaper would be honest, objective, transparent and accessible and would treat readers with respect. We set out to take a glass half-full approach to the Glass City and the region without shying away from hard questions and difficult truths.

I think we’ve accomplished all that and much more, including five consecutive nods for “Best Weekly Newspaper in Ohio” from the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists. We’ll find out later this year if we won one more.

In the end, while delivering news is a right, it is also a privilege, one that we can no longer afford to provide.

Closing hurts, but even more painful would be to have never tried. This newspaper has been a dream. We have enjoyed offering area readers an alternate voice and relished the challenge of changing the status quo of news reporting in Toledo. By adding to the conversation, we did what we set out to do, and I’m proud of the work we’ve done.

While our last print issue was April 26, we will continue to post some remaining content on our website and social media accounts for the next few weeks.

I’d like to thank founding Editor in Chief Michael S. Miller and current Editor in Chief Sarah Ottney for their passion and dedication. Thank you to our hardworking staff, generous investors, loyal advertisers and network of dedicated freelancers and carriers. Most importantly, thanks to you, our readers, for supporting a small local business and a free press.


Tom Pounds

President and publisher, Toledo Free Press

No votes yet

Good riddance.

Saying the paper is objective is an outright lie. We exist in this town under a monobloc of a stupidly Liberal newspaper, called The Blade. The Free Press had every opportunity to provide a sensible alternative. It could have filled a lot of holes left by the leading Liberal rag.

But it didn't. The FP in short order just went along with the party line about having a huge useless local government that lies to people about the economy so that people don't freak out and (shudder) stop spending and stop borrowing (i.e. do what's in their best interest, not in the best interest of the local government, local bankers, and the local construction mafia). The FP just ignored all the holes in the prevailing Liberal argument. There was nothing worth reading in the FP that wasn't already hashed to death by the local ooh-rah Liberal rag and particularly the pointless TV news stations.

I don't blame Pounds for wanting to control his own newspaper and just sell ads to make a profit. I blame him instead for filling pointless pages with ads that had nothing else on them that we wanted to read. It's a fundamental disconnect; if there's no meat (i.e. researched news) for the reader, then there's no need for the bun (i.e. advertising).

WSPD Fred Lefebvre accuses the Toledo Blade of stealing Toledo Free Press from Kroger store Timeline 4:35

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

I always liked reading Toledo Free Press. I'll miss it.

I don't miss it, Goodbye And Good Riddance, that's what I say.

So really here, folks... what "hard questions and difficult truths" did the TFP ever publish? Gimme some examples.

is your mouth (or the equivalent in postings).
Do you have any idea how hard it is to run any business?
Do you have any idea how high the cost of producing a weekly newspaper is?
Do you really believe that all you have to do is offer an alternate set of opinions, and people -- and more importantly, advertisers -- will flock to your publication?
And this is especially difficult when you are trying to run a print newspaper in an era when news is ever more obtained from other than print media.
Haven't you noticed that, even in most large cities there is only one daily newspaper, and most weekly papers are little more than advertising sheets? Duh!

The Toledo Free Press offered many alternative points of view. The most recent which comes to mind is their position supporting the Treece family and their approach to running the Toledo Port Authority. Do you think that, just maybe, the FP's taking positions challenging the powers that be, might have had something to do with the difficulty the FP had getting enough advertising dollars to continue? Duh!

As usual, GZ aka Chicken Little has no credentials, no practical experience, only vacuous opinion.
RIP Toledo Free Press. I had many arguments with your contributors, but I appreciated having a real alternative media outlet in this city. The Toledo area was a better place having you around. We will all miss you. Some of us are just too clueless to comprehend fully what we will be missing..

The TFP reporting on "the Treece family and their approach to running the Toledo Port Authority" has nothing to do with hard truth. The entire thing was a big political football and it was always going to end up in the hands of somebody who would abuse the public trust. That's why the government should not be involved at all.

There should be no "Toledo Port Authority". The Toledo Airport exists. It's an asset and it should just be sold off to the highest bidder as the TPA is junked. The government can pass laws and establish regulations for how the airport affects the public, but beyond that, it's a private asset and it's none of our fucking business how it's operated or who owns it.

THAT is the alternative viewpoint. Naturally, that viewpoint opposes big government and the system of cronies that feed on big government, and we never saw that from the TFP.

Dale, you are like most people, caught up on false dichotomies. Every time you go to the polls, you generally choose Corporate Candidate #1 or Corporate Candidate #2. Each vote you make, at the polls or at a cash register, you support big government, the small army of cronies that it feeds, and a tiny elite of rich people who laugh at your naivete. Then again, you could well be fully cognizant of this system... after all, you're a Boomer pension baby and you're on our collective vein like a tick.

meaningful. You display for all to see the fact that, too often, you argue just to argue. You put forth as your argument the exact point about the airport that the FP supported, as you, concurrently, disparage the FP.

Before you go off on Mr. Pounds's running of his business, try running something yourself!

Sorry -- Double post.

The problem TFP had was they were always trying to be positive. The situation in Toledo is not positive nor can you spin it to make it such.

The Bland does it's best to keep Toledo in that state. The TFP just can't compete, especially in a dying medium.


"The problem TFP had was they were always trying to be positive."

Precisely. Toledo has always had this little problem and it's culturally impossible to fix... at least until most of the cheerleaders become too poor from the larger reality to bother going "ooh-rah" anymore.

The TFP provided no real alternative since it was part of what I'll call the "economic development mafia". All you read and watch for news around Toledo's official outlets is stuff about growth and recovery... nothing about managing and adapting to the deepening disaster of our wholesale economic collapse. After all, advertisers run the show, and they're advertising so that people would buy their crap, and that means spend spend spend, supported by borrow borrow borrow, and when people realize they're in the middle of an economic collapse, they won't be spending and they won't be borrowing.

All official news sources are in a condition of conflict of interest. They can't report the truth since their advertising model won't permit it.

Here Dale, this is how news reporting works. Just the facts without ohh-rah.

I was snooping around in the Lucas County Court docket and found an address (11 North Huron Street) for Thomas F. Pounds on his divorce filing (DR20090997).

AREIS shows that the property at that address was sold 03/26/2015 for $168500 by TOM LBS. LLC (Pounds' organization) to DELDOC LLC.


Looks like Pounds was getting ready to leave the area at least a month ago. I don't know the arrangement reached between Pounds and DELDOC. Selling property usually involves a significant lead time, but it's not obvious that 11 North Huron Street was publicly advertised for sale.

Google searches suggest that the address was the warehouse space for the TFP.

Can anyone else help me find out how long that property was on the market?

I was suspicious when Michael Miller left the FP months ago. Get a clue!

I find it fascinating that those who are supposed to be so much in favor of free enterprise, and so much in support of entrepreneurship are so eager to "dance on the grave" of the FP, and criticize Mr. Pounds! I have so much more respect for, and appreciation of, the difficulty of running any business than do you. And I'm supposed to be the socialist here? Give me a break!

I looked up the 2011 civil case by The Blade against Pounds, and I'd have to say that the filing looks compelling. The biggest problem I have with the case so far is that it's taking this long to resolve. The accusation is clear and the facts are well documented. About the only thing I don't know is a nuance of law that would overturn the accusation, to wit: Can a separation agreement from an employer be that comprehensive in scope?

the fact the Blade was afraid means that they were making a difference. We got to used to the Free Press and began taking it for granite.

Well expressed, Chris.

You are correct. The Bland was scarred. As much as I disagreed with the TFP's ignorant optimism I welcomed them as a voice. That's what Toledo needs is more disenting voices. It's clear that won't come from a newspaper, the Bland won't budge an inch on it's territory.

What those who like the TFP should do is start new ways to combat the too powerful influence of the paper. Blogs and podcasts can have an impact. Maybe there's room for a biweekly magazine. Thinking outside the box is by far the best way to hurt the Bland because all they do is follow the lead of bowtie who hasn't had an interesting idea since 1990.

To truly break the Bland one must attack Block Communications aka Buckeye Cable.

Work outside the city in other NW Ohio communities to lay down their own fiber create a competing ISP. Lower the cost of internet by getting suburbs to offer free wifi.

Does NW Ohio have someone who has the means and want to do this? I doubt it.


The Blade was scared? Now I've heard everything.

Did the TFP provide any alternative to TB at all? Except for the first few months, NO. So what's the basis of such a fear? There isn't any.

TB might have been a bit worried at first, believing a free paper would suppress their own subscription base. But with all the TFP's blowing in the wind, obviously unread, that initial possible fear was unfounded.

TB has much bigger problems with the Internet. That's where we get our news from. At least TB now contributes electronically instead of fighting against it. Overcoming their paywall is child's play; I can read all I like on their website.

TB has nothing to fear from physical/paper competition since it costs too much to set up such a thing. Apparently Pounds didn't even try a subscription model. Granting credit where it's due, Pounds just gave up to the advertiser model. That's what the TFP was: Advertising media, dumped on your porch. As is only evidentiary, Pounds didn't establish a corps of investigative reporters; if he did, it didn't become evident from what landed on the print copy.

There's a deeper cost issue that also crosses into the territory of culture. We've totally lost our corps of investigative reporters (IRs). The 1990s genocided them. Read "Into the Buzzsaw" by Kristina Borjesson to understand why. IRing became too expensive and accultural for Americans to maintain. Advertising became supreme, and the Cult of Growth gve no room for dissent. Hard-nosed reporters who came from a working-class background participated in the news process less and less. Sadly, yuppies took over, and being critical of the system they feed from is the last thing they do.

I mean, look at that Jeremy Baumhower animal (who also worked at the TFP). Does that little freak know anything other than what hair conditioner works best for him? Look at the reaction of that "reporter" to Econcat88... he went on a warpath against a man who merely took a video camera and pointed it at things in Toledo, with commentary, which is the very essence of news reporting. When a reporter tries to stop reporting, he's not a reporter. He's part of the repressive system he was supposed to document and expose.

If sensible economics played a part of the news process, TB would have been shut down by 1990. It's a well-known public rumor that TB hasn't run a profit since the 1980s. It's merely an egotistical part of Block Communications, which is kept alive by other parts of the media 'empire'. So really, Toledo has no profitable newspapers worth mentioning, and it hasn't had any such for a generation. People have lost interest, the entire paradigm is politically corrupt, and the Internet replaces the industry anyway.

So I must say again: Good riddance. Anyone can be a columnist (just as I'm doing right now), so there's no need to setup a special "brick and mortar" system for it. Newspapers are a dead industry. They can't die fast enough.

GZ aka Chicken Little, aka Mr. Empty Glass.

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