Over 40 years, Rob Martinelli has helped steer the company through countless ups and downs, including recessions and a pandemic. This month, the magazine turns 60.
Martinelli reflected on the last four decades since his family acquired the First State’s largest magazine publication, but what about the 20 years between the magazine’s first issue and the start of the family’s ownership?
April 1962: The first issue of Delaware Today hits newsstands after limping along for several years under the name Dateline Delaware. Ownership group included Al Pione, Richard Hardesty and Miles Frederick.
1967: Mary Lou Ponsell joins the membership group. Under her direction, readership jumped, but sales lagged.
1970: Millionaire businessman John Rollins Sr. purchases the magazine. Though some feared the political aspirant would use the publication to sway political power, he instead kept a low profile.
1973: Delaware native and News Journal alumnus Chris Perry purchases the magazine. Three years later, he sells it to staffer Leonard Quinn.
1979: Advertiser and Philadelphia Nutrisystem franchisee Arsen Kashkashian Jr. hears Delaware Today is struggling and purchases it. Under his guidance and that of editor John Taylor, circulation grows from 2,000 to 8,000.
1981: Publisher Angelo Martinelli and, later, his son Rob Martinelli take over as owners. The family owned (and still does) the historic Westchester County, New York–based printing company Gazette Press.