On Tuesday, February 1, 1927, the Hendersonville Times-News published its first issue. Edited by James Toole Fain (1876-1957) and Claude Monroe “Mike” Ogle (1891-1968), the new title resulted from a merger of the two newspapers serving Hendersonville, N.C., the Hendersonville News and the Hendersonville Times.
The debut issue pitched the merger as beneficial to local businesses, arguing that they would now need advertise in only one newspaper. The Times-News failed to note that the merger would also benefit the owners since it would reduce competition between newspapers. Fain held the title of editor, and Ogle served as managing editor, focusing primarily on the business side of the operation.
The Times-News published daily, except for one day on the weekend. The newspaper included a mix of international, national, state, and local news. It also featured “Of Interest To Women,” a regular column with information about club meetings, churches, and residents’ travels. The opinion pages regularly included “Bible Thought,” a short meditation on Bible passages and columns by such religious figures as Billy Graham, the North Carolina-born evangelist.
Fain never shied away from voicing his political views in Times-News editorials. He initially supported President Franklin D. Roosevelt and argued against those who believed Roosevelt would be dictatorial as President. But Fain changed his views over time, criticizing such New Deal steps as child labor laws and Social Security and advocating for reductions in federal programs.
Ogle remained in various managerial and publishing roles with the Times-News well into the 1960s. Likewise, Fain and his family worked for the Times-News for many years. His son James “Jimmy” Fain, Jr. worked for the newspaper in some capacity for 45 years, first as a reporter, and later took over as managing editor from 1957 to 1972. Under Jimmy Fain, the Times-News announced on August 28, 1967 that it was the first “local newspaper” to use full-color printing. George R. Fain, Jr., a nephew of James T. Fain Sr., became publisher in 1974, the same year that the New York Times Company purchased the newspaper.
In 1985, the Times-News switched from an afternoon to a morning publication and added a Sunday edition.