About the Observer-Reporter

The award-winning Observer-Reporter is a daily newspaper published by Observer Publishing Co., and circulates to Washington and Greene counties. Headquartered in Washington, Pa., the newspaper has been part of Southwestern Pennsylvania since the early 1800s.  

Our Mission Statement

We are an independent family-owned and operated business that partners with our customers, communities and employees to successfully provide trusted local news and information whenever, wherever and however our customers want it. 

About Observer Publishing Co.

The Observer Publishing Co. was formed on July 24,1902, by John L. (Jack) Stewart and E.F. Acheson. OPC is currently owned and operated by members of the third and fourth generations of the Jack Stewart family. Thomas P. Northrop, Jack Stewart's great-grandson, is president and publisher. 

Our circulation reaches readers in Washington, Greene and southern Allegheny counties. In addition to Observer-Reporter, Observer Publishing Co. publishes The Almanac, numerous monthly magazines and other special-interest publications, as well as several digital properties and related websites.

Observer Publishing Co. has always focused on the community, whether through the pages of its newspapers or through its employee and family charitable commitments. Those include service to the Washington, Waynesburg and McMurray Rotary clubs; Washington & Jefferson and Waynesburg colleges; the United Way of Washington and Greene counties; Washington Hospital Board of Directors and Foundation; and the Washington Community Foundation, as well as numerous events and community outreach programs such as our Newspaper in Education program, which offers educators within the newspaper's circulation area the Observer-Reporter as an in-classroom tool. There is also a long commitment to the newspaper industry through its alliance with the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association and other journalism and media organizations.


1808- Printers William Sample and William B. Brown stop at The Sign of the Swan tavern in the village of Washington on their way to Kentucky. With them are a hand-printing press, type, ink and paper. Tavern owner John Rettig convinces the two men to set up their shop in the basement of his business (currently the Union Grill) and, on Aug. 15, 1808, The Reporter, a weekly newspaper, debuts. The Reporter changes hands several times in the 1800s, and becomes a daily afternoon publication, The Daily Reporter, in 1876, under the ownership of Maj. Enos L. Christman.

1871- The Monthly Advance, is founded in Washington by Horace B. Durant, and four months later is renamed The Weekly Advance. In 1876, that publication becomes The Washington Observer. The Washington Observer, then owned by E.F. Acheson and Winfield McIlvaine, debuts as a daily newspaper in 1889.

1902- The Washington Observer is bought by John L. (Jack) Stewart on July 24, 1902, and Acheson and Stewart form the Observer Publishing Co. 

1903- The Observer Publishing Co. purchases The Reporter. The Washington Observer is published in the morning, and The Washington Reporter, in the afternoon. Acheson retires in 1912, turning over ownership and the presidency to Stewart. 

1963- The company purchases The Waynesburg Republican. In 1967, The Washington Observer and The Washington Observer merge to become the Observer-Reporter.  

1981- The Observer-Reporter becomes a morning-only paper, including a zoned edition for Greene County subscribers. The company buys controlling interest in The Advertiser and The Almanac. The weeklies are merged into one newspaper in 1998.

1986- The Sunday Observer-Reporter is launched in April.

1996- The Observer-Reporter website, www.observer-reporter.com, is launched.

2010- The Observer-Reporter adds its e-Edition, to the online products offered to subscribers.

2015- A redesigned website is launched, complete with a new non-com, www.o-r.news.