Now Reading
Call Me Crazy with Phil Bunton: In the Beginning … 

Call Me Crazy with Phil Bunton: In the Beginning … 

Every now and then some youngster will ask me, “How do I become a newspaperman?” Or a journalist. Or a TV reporter.  

The very short answer: I don’t know.  

I know today that you have to go to college and study for four years – or more.  

In my day the only way to become a newspaperman was to work at it.  

So that’s why – on my 16th birthday, no less — I quit school and went to work on the local daily paper.  

Little did I know that the only reason I got the job was because the paper was going out of business and no one in his right mind wanted to work there.  

So, for four months I brought coffee and tea from the canteen to the copy editors. I answered phones, I ran up and down stairs to the library. I made sure the editors’ pencils were always sharpened (no computers in those days). And, yes, I actually wrote one story – about cricket, the world’s most boring game. One game can take three to five days and even then there‘s likely to be no result.  

My story got published, but the next day — the very next day – the paper went out of business. I didn’t think my story was that boring, but apparently it killed the newspaper.  

I started Rivertown Magazine more than 20 years ago. For most of my adult life I’d been a journalist. After that ignominious start reporting on cricket, I progressed to some of the biggest daily newspapers in England.  

Then Rupert Murdoch started a magazine in New York called Star –– and I was immediately recruited. For the next 40 years I worked for supermarket scandal magazines such as Star and National Enquirer. I’d had scoops on O.J. Simpson, Liz Taylor, President Clinton’s love life, Barbara Walters. I dealt with the good, the bad and the ugly. But I was forced to quit my job as editor of the Star when a man called Pecker (first name David) bought the magazine. I took an instant dislike to my new boss. And, as I told my wife, who wants to work under a Pecker? And so I decided to create my own magazine. Rivertown. 

I worked out of an upstairs bedroom in my house in South Nyack. Advertisers would often climb up the back stairs and deliver their material directly to me.  

I wrote many of the stories, designed the pages and distributed the magazine door to door at local businesses and at all the local street fairs. My family sold the advertising.  

The great thing about a magazine like Rivertown is that everyone reads it and everyone has an opinion. People used to stop me in the street and ask what I thought of a particular restaurant. Or a new boutique. And I always had an opinion. 

When I first came to Rockland County, the River Club was my favorite hangout. Then Hudson House. And La Fontana, and so on. There are so many great places here, and now is the time to try them all again. 

I like to think that Rockland County is the best kept secret in the Northeast. And it is. It is a gem of a place. Pick up Rivertown every month and explore the wonders of Rockland County. 

And Rivertown led me to my wife Candice. She advertised her interior design business in the magazine. We met and we fell in love. Proof — if proof is needed — that it pays to advertise in Rivertown 

But sorry, we can’t repeat the deal that Candice got. That deal is closed. 

Phil Bunton is the Founder of Rivertown Magazine. He is retired and living in Florida with his wife Candice. 


Scroll To Top