A History of Hudson Valley Magazine by Publisher Ralph Martinelli (Editor’s Letter)

A word from Hudson Valley Publisher, Ralph A. Martinelli

Forty years — wow!

My dad started Hudson Valley magazine in 1972 and we printed it at the family printing company, Gazette Press in Yonkers. From the time I was 10, I grew up working there. I have so many fond (and a few not so fond!) memories about this experience. Every Saturday morning, my father would pile me and my five older brothers into his Cadillac and we’d head to the printing plant — after eating breakfast at home (usually pancakes or waffles). We all had a job to do. At the age of 10, I would sweep the floors or stay close to my dad. In my teens, I still worked on Saturdays, but also after school as well. In the early days we were not paid but we were compensated with a giant Landy’s wedge (does anyone remember Landy’s Deli in Yonkers?) for lunch. Eating this 14-inch wedge was the highlight of the day!

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A few years later, I worked my way up the ladder and into the bindery department. Here, after the magazine was printed and folded, it was carted over to a large binding machine called “the McCain.” There we would put the folded sections, some color and some black-and-white, into pockets to move down the line to be cut and stitched to the spine of the magazine. Each magazine was shot off onto a conveyor belt at a rapid pace. They came out so fast, it was hard to keep up with them. Next, mailing machines would put the subscriber labels on the magazine to be sorted into mailbags by Zip code. Then we would load the bags onto the van and head off to the post office. In the mid ’80s, I remember driving from Yonkers to the Kingston post office with Dad; the company van was packed so full with mailbags that we could only drive so fast. Finally, we’d load the bags onto the post office platform, submit the paperwork — and we were done (except for the two-hour drive back to Yonkers).

Fast-forward a few more years. I graduated from college, worked at some restaurants, got a real-estate license, but I still helped out at the printing plant. Finally, I got the chance to work in the offices — not the factory. First, I handled magazine circulation, taking care of all the subscribers (only a few thousand back in 1982) and delivering magazines to the newsstands. Then I started selling ads for the magazine and saw the potential. But I was never given a base salary, so if I wanted to be paid, it had to come from commissions. Talk about motivation!

Well, the rest is now history — and we are very proud of what we have accomplished in the past 40 years. Our new company, Today Media, publishes Delaware Today, Main Line Today, and Westchester Magazine — as well as Hudson Valley. And Media Two, our custom publishing division in Baltimore, is also part of the company. The world has changed dramatically, but Hudson Valley magazine is still here — and still delivering informative and entertaining news to Hudson Valley residents and visitors.

Finally, I would like to pay tribute to some of my family members who have played major roles along the way. First, my father Angelo Martinelli, who is in the photo with me above; he started it all and has been my mentor all along the way. And to my brothers, Rob and Rich Martinelli, who are my current partners, as well as my brother Tom Martinelli, who served as publisher for a good 15 years. 

Enjoy the issue!

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Ralph A. Martinelli

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