The Lynett-Haggerty family, owners of Times-Shamrock Communications, will be presented with The University of Scranton's President's Medal at the President's Business Council's (PBC) eleventh annual award dinner on Thursday, Oct. 4, at The Pierre in New York City. This represents the first time that a family has been selected for the annual gala, as the company's third generation of family leadership, which includes Cecelia L. Haggerty, Edward J. Lynett Jr., George V. Lynett and William R. Lynett, will be honored.
As the third generation of family ownership of The Scranton Times-Tribune, which has grown to become Times-Shamrock Communications and includes the Abington Suburban, they inherited enormous leadership responsibility upon the sudden death of their father, Edward J. Lynett Sr. Like their father, they have continued to maintain their relationship with the university during the past few decades.
The Scranton Times, now The Scranton Times-Tribune, was founded in 1870 and struggled under six owners before their grandfather, E.J. Lynett, bought the paper in 1895. E.J. Lynett came to the newspaper business with a background as an anthracite breakerboy, a clerk in the mayor's office, a "little schooling in the law," and newspaper editor. During the strike of 1900, while other Scranton newspapers were urging the miners to "go slow," The Scranton Times supported the miners and gained in circulation. Within 20 years, The Scranton Times was the dominant newspaper in northeastern Pennsylvania, and the third-largest in the state (behind only the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Pittsburgh Press).
In 1922, E.J. Lynett signed on one of Scranton's first radio stations, still operated by the company today as WEJL, becoming the first newspaper in the country to also own a radio station. The descendants of E.J. Lynett were born and bred to be in the newspaper business. Under the stewardship of the family's third generation, their business has flourished. The Scranton Times became the first daily paper in the region to run color photos.
They built a new state-of-the-art facility in Scott Township, outside of Scranton, that improved printing production, quality, efficiency and capacity. They expanded their market through acquisition and the development of new publications. Last February, they completed their successful transition to the fourth generation of leadership, which includes Matthew Haggerty, Bobby Lynett, George V. Lynett Jr., and Scott Lynett.
Today, Times-Shamrock Communications currently controls 28 newsprint operations in seven states, 11 broadcast radio stations in five states, an internet division and four separate corporations servicing the newspaper printing and distribution process.
Natives of Scranton, the Lynett-Haggerty family is very active in the local community through their service on numerous boards and philanthropic interests. Strong supporters of Catholic and Jesuit education, the family has been extremely generous with its time, talent and financial contributions to The University of Scranton, a tradition of service that continues into the fourth generation.
The honorees and Mrs. Haggerty's late husband, Jim, are all past Board of Trustee members of The University of Scranton, with Ed Lynett and Jim Haggerty having also served as board chair.
In presenting an honoree with the President's Medal, The University of Scranton and the PBC recognize excellence in their field and extraordinary compassion for others. Proceeds from the annual award dinner support the university's presidential scholarship endowment fund. Presidential scholarships are four-year, full-tuition, merit-based scholarships awarded to the top students entering the Jesuit university's freshman class each year.