Observer’s last newspaper
The Observer, printed in Stuart, covered Deerfield Beach, Lighthouse Point, Hillsboro Beach, Pompano Beach and Boca Raton with a mix of news about community events, commission meetings, obituaries and neighborhood crime. Its final paper was published Dec. 26.
While printing between 15,000 and 18,000 copies a week, the Observer had been a mostly money-losing operation for years, according to Publisher Dana Eller.
“We tried, but we just couldn’t get it where it needed to be,” he said. He noted that about 15 people, both full and part-time employees, had lost their jobs.
“We are going to miss the gratification that comes from being able to provide a voice in the community that a local paper provides. The website will remain up and running for the time being, and we may find an opportunity in the future to continue intermittent publications combined with a more robust website, but at this point, we do not know,” Eller wrote in the newspaper’s last edition.
Founded by Bill Beck, the Observer began as a 10-cent-a-copy broadsheet and ended as a giveaway delivered to some core residences, but was mostly distributed on racks at dozens of area businesses.
Eller’s father, local businessman and well-known Republican donor David Eller, acquired the paper in 1980. Dana Eller recounted how his father came to buy what was then called the Deerfield Beach Observer:
“The paper was supporting George Bush for president; my father was supporting Ronald Reagan. The paper told my father that if he didn’t like it, he could buy the paper and support someone else. He did.”
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