The Taylor Group
The Murray Pioneer is the parent company for a group which includes six newspapers, and a commercial printing company, JC Irving, of Berri. The groups' newspaper interests include The Murray Pioneer (Riverland), The Loxton News, The River News (Waikerie), The Border Times (Northern Mallee), The Bunyip ( Gawler, Barossa & Light) and The Mid North Broadcaster.
The Murray Pioneer is published twice weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays while all other papers in the group are Wednesday publications and are all printed on the presses at Renmark.
The region covered by The Murray Pioneer is renowned for its quality fruit, fruit juices and wine. Fruits grown include citrus, grapes, peaches, pears, apricots, almonds and vegetable production is now extensive. The Murray River winds through the region making it a popular tourist area, ideal for fishing, boating, water sports, and cruises with over 100 houseboats available for hire on the river.
The Murray Pioneer, first known as the Renmark Pioneer, was established in 1892, and located in Thirteenth Street. It was a weekly newspaper until 1982, when it changed to a bi-weekly, printed on Tuesdays and Fridays. Its current circulation is about 6,000 copies. Just over 20 people were employed there back in 1932 and the number is still much the same today.
When the original Renmark Pioneer was first printed on Saturday, April 9, 1892, it was a hand written duplicated foolscap sheet. This was five years after the Renmark irrigation colony was founded. By 1895 The Murray Pioneer was appearing as an ordinary type printed paper. Consisting usually of six pages, it sold for 2d per copy.
For several years the paper was printed at new premises in Fifteenth Street and then at a site near the Renmark Hotel and in 1910 was relocated to the place where the present building stands.
In 1916, electricity development of the irrigation areas followed World War 1, with corresponding expansion of the paper and led to the change of the name to The Murray Pioneer, and the formation of the present company, The Murray Pioneer Pty. Ltd., in 1921, with Mr. H.S. Taylor as governing director and editor - position he held until his death in 1932.
The well-equipped offices and outer walls of the present building were built in 1960.
In 1978 the Cossar press, which had printed the paper for about 18 years, was replaced by a three-unit Goss Community web-offset press, capable of printing 24 pages in one run, at a speed of 14,000 copies an hour. The press was later upgraded to include 5 ‘Goss’ units and became fully paginated with colour and mono pages sent direct to an Imagesetter.
In 1988 a computer sales and repair business, Riverland Computers commenced as a subsidiary business, enabling a computer repair technician to be onsite permanently. This ensured the company's extensive computer network could be repaired without waiting for technicians to arrive from Adelaide. In 1990 this business moved from within the main building to an extension to the southeastern end of the head office complex.
In 2006 a further expansion of the press took place with the purchase of a Tensor ‘4 High’ unit from Chicago U.S.A. This required a larger pressroom and a substantial renovation and enlargement of the premises took place.
At the same time a computer to plate ( CTP ) unit was purchased which replaced the imagesetter. An identicle unit was purchased at the same time by sister company JCIrving & Co enabling valuable back up for both businesses in times of breakdowns. This further simplified the printing process enabling pages to be built on personal computer ( PC's) and sent in fours to the CTP unit to produce a press ready plate.
A year later another Tensor ‘4 High’ unit was purchased which is today combined with the first Tensor unit and two Goss mono units.
With the introduction of the world wide web an internet service provider ( ISP ) ‘Riverland Internet’ was established late in 1995. It became the first ISP in the Riverland and the Murray Pioneer became the first paper in South Australia to have an online presence.
In November 2005 a Dick Smith Electronics franchise was purchased to complement Riverland Computers and Riverland Internet and provide a complete information technology hub to service the groups IT systems and the Riverland as a whole.