Stephen W. Ryder
Born: May 10, 1923, Kurume Japan
Oneonta Daily Star, Oneonta NY, 1946-1947
News-Times, Danbury CT, 1958-1959
Press-Republican, Plattsburgh NY, 1959-1964
Ottaway Newspapers, Inc., Campbell Hall NY, 1967-1973
Mail Tribune, Medford OR, 1973-1982
Stephen W. Ryder was born in Kurume, Japan to American missionary parents. He is a graduate of Mt. Hermon School (Mass.) and Syracuse University, where he received a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1946. He is a World War II Air Force veteran.
Ryder has been associated with Ottaway Newspapers, Inc. (ONI) in various positions since 1946, starting at the Oneonta Daily Star. In 1947 he became program director of radio station WENE in Endicott NY, then owned by Ottaway, and became its manager a year later. In 1958, he became assistant to the publisher of the New-Times in Danbury CT and, the following year, general manager and then publisher of the Press-Republican in Plattsburgh NY.
Named a corporate vice president in 1964, Ryder moved to headquarters at Campbell Hall where his duties included supervising several newspapers, developing training programs, recruiting personnel and doing market study/acquisition. When the Medford Mail Tribune joined the Ottaway group in 1973, Ryder became its publisher and president and ONI vice president in the West. In 1975, under Ryder's direction, the Mail Tribune sought an injunction prohibiting enforcement of an Oregon state law which resulted in a crime news blackout for the rest of the state. A special session of the Legislature repealed the law a few days later, but during that critical time, Jackson County was the only county in the state to continue exercising the First Amendment-guaranteed freedom of the press. The action resulted in a national award from the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, and the Amos E. Voorhies Award from Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association.
In 1982, he relinquished his duties as publisher when the Santa Cruz Sentinel joined Ottaway. At that time, Ryder resumed group operational and liaison duties with the newspapers in Medford and Santa Cruz and, in 1984, Sun City AZ as well.
Stephen W. Ryder's accomplishments in the field of newspaper journalism range far and wide, and so have his contributions to the industry. Ryder is a former president of both the New York and Oregon Newspaper Publishers Associations, and he continues to serve on numerous national and local committees and organizations. Ryder recently participated in the decision for a new dean for the University Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, exemplifying that even five years after retiring he is still interested and participating in all facets of journalism.
Ryder has always been an ardent and vocal supporter of the Freedom of Information Act, and he continues, even in retirement, to contribute to the field of journalism.
He and his wife, Mary, currently live in Medford OR. They have a daughter, Lynne Ryder Moke, and a granddaughter, Amanda.
Chronology of activities:
1986-present: Member, Allied Daily Newspapers Committee on Journalism Education
1980-1985: Chairman, American Press Institute Western Advisory Board
1980: Awarded a Ruhl Fellowship by the University of Oregon School of Journalism
1974-1982: Director, Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association; President, 1980 -1981
1972-1973: Officer, Syracuse University School of Journalism Advisory Council
1969-1972: Chairman, Newspaper Review & Development Committee, Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC)
1961-1982: Member, American Newspaper Publishers Association
1941-1943: Various positions on the "Daily Orange" (Syracuse University student newspaper), including Business Manager