The late Heinz Prechter may not have grown up on Grosse Ile, but by the time I met him in 1985 he had already lived here for many years and, as I would find out working for him at Heritage Newspapers for the next 14 years, he was very proud and supportive of his adopted hometown.
He also developed a strong attachment to the Ile Camera — the community newspaper that he became the owner of as a part of his largest media acquisition. While others in the company eventually deemed the Camera a luxury that no longer made financial sense, Prechter fended off any discussions of scaling it back or closing the office it then occupied on Macomb.
This scenario was definitely in the back of my mind in 2015 when Pam Frucci and others in the community approached me and my co-publisher, Kathy Kane, about covering Grosse Ile and helping to fill the void created when the Camera ceased publishing in June of that year. There was the recollection of Prechter’s passion and support for it — counterbalanced by some of the reasoning I heard from those who saw its “marginal” revenues as a growing liability in a rapidly changing industry. [Read more…]