WASHINGTON — They say they don’t make ‘em like they used to - and Barry Baumert is proof of that.
On Friday, Baumert finished up a 50-year career with the Washington Times Herald. During that time he has been one of the most important cogs in a wheel that has churned out 135,000,000 newspapers.
Baumert has been part of the Times Herald for more than one-third of the newspaper’s 145-year existence and predates the merger of the Daily Times and the Washington Herald in the early 1960s.
“I ran the last paper off the press at the Daily Herald,” said Baumert.
“When I first took the job, I thought I might work for a year and then look for something better, but I just loved the work so much I just stayed.
“My first full-time job was setting ads. It was a tough job, because it required pouring hot metal over the type. All the ads had to be set by hand.” said Baumert.
General Manager Melody Brunson has worked with Barry for 27 years.
“He has been a cornerstone. He has been the glue that holds the newspaper together many times,” said Brunson. “He is loyal and dedicated, knows his job and does it very well.
“I can’t even conceive of working in the same place 50 years. To work in one industry, let alone one place is remarkable. This is a business where changes sometimes come fast and furious. Technology has changed our industry. One the things that has made Barry special, was his ability to adapt to those changes.”
Though his 50 years in the business, Baumert has held almost every job in the production of the paper on a daily basis and has seen it change from what was essentially early 20th Century technology, to the cyber product that is now peaking over the horizon.