The Wayne County Outlook was founded in May 1904 by J. W. and Elnora Simpson. The newspaper prospered and soon after its first edition was printed moved to its current office location on East Columbia Avenue.

J.W. and Elnora Simpson's son, Bill, joined the staff just out of high school, and he witnessed many of the changes that the newspaper business would undergo over the next few decades. The old hand press was replaced by the use of linotype. A new Goss Comet Press, purchased by the newspaper in the 1960's, automatically fed the paper from a roll to be printed.

But the biggest change came in the early 1970s with the advent of offset printing. Computer equipment brought The Outlook into the future of publishing, and the press ceased operation.

The Simpson family operated the newspaper, with three generations serving as publisher, until its sale in 1988 to Smith Newspapers.

The Outlook was again privately owned from 1995 until 1999, when it was purchased by Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. (cnhi), based in Alabama.

The company is currently one of the largest newspaper groups in the United States.

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