During the past few weeks, a number of media institutions such as “The Carol Burnett Show” and “60 Minutes,” celebrated their 50th anniversaries. So, too, does the Bakery Production & Marketing newsletter.
Launched in 1967, the four-page publication mailed every Friday, 50 weeks a year, and gave its select group of paid subscribers the latest breaking news and up-to-date commodity information to read first thing Monday morning. It soon earned its nickname as the “Orange Sheet” because it was printed on dark orange paper to keep people from photocopying it. Back then, reporters relied on old-fashioned tips from baking industry sources and had to bang the phones to hunt down the latest exclusive news. They then wrote short 250-word stories on their manual or then-brand-new electric typewriters and edited these articles by hand.
Over the years, the newsletter evolved but never lost track of its roots. In the 1990s, the late baking industry veteran, Ray Lahvic, added “From the Bakery Pipeline” to provide his unique imprint and personal touch as its editor. That column shared his unfettered opinions on the baking industry as well as “gossip” from “reliable sources” — namely his closely connected friends, the leaders of major baking companies who never publicly talked to the press.Today’s emailed newsletter carries an orange logo that symbolizes the legacy of dozens of editors and old-fashioned reporting over the past half century. It remains one-of-a-kind and one in a million. While its quick-read format is used by thousands of other online publications, remember the old saying that goes: Often copied, never duplicated. Here’s to another happy New Year!