Calkins Media sells its newspaper properties to Ogden Newspapers and GateHouse Media

Also: Last week Civitas Media announced that it had sold its print and digital assets in North and South Carolina to Champion Media LLC, after previously announcing sales of newspapers in Missouri, Ohio and West Virginia

This morning readers of newspapers published by Calkins Media learned that their newspaper had been sold, either to Ogden Newspapers or GateHouse Media (New Media Investment Group). Calkins Media had been publishing their local newspapers for nearly 80 years before the decision to sell.

The Herald-Standard and weekly Messenger (as well as the SWC Properties real estate company) were sold to Ogden Newspapers, The Courier Times, The Intelligencer, the Burlington County Times, the Beaver County Times and the Ellwood City Ledger and Calkins Digital were picked up by GateHouse Media.


“All of us grew up and many still live in these communities and have a sense of responsibility to serve them,” said Calkins’ board Charles C. Smith, a third-generation family member. “To not have a role in that anymore is extremely difficult for us… I’m going to miss being able to point to the fact that my family owns the paper that produced that quality of work and the inherent pride that went with that,” Smith said.

“The sole driving factor (for selling) was the economics in running a paper in today’s world,” Smith said.

Local ownership of daily newspapers is a rare thing these days. Ogden publishes 40 dailies, while GateHouse publishes 130 daily newspapers.

“The four Calkins newspapers we are acquiring are among the most attractive media properties in the country,” GateHouse CEO Kirk Davis said. “They have a rich tradition of top-flight, award-winning journalism and are located in ideally sized markets.”

Calkins Media is not the only chain looking to divest its newspapers holdings.

Civitas Media announced on Friday that it had sold its print and digital assets in North and South Carolina to Champion Media LLC. The announcement comes shortly after the same publisher, owned by Versa Capital Management, said it has sold one newspaper in Missouri, 16 newspapers in Ohio and five newspapers in West Virginia.

The daily newspapers included in this tranaction were the Lumberton Robesonian, Mount Airy News, Rockingham Daily Journal, Clinton Sampson Independent and Laurinburg Exchange. The weeklies included: Jefferson Post, Your Carolina Connection, Elizabethtown Bladen Journal, Wadesboro Anson Record, Surry Scene, Elkin Tribune, Elkin Advertiser, Yadkin Ripple, Stokes News, Pilot Mountain News, Carroll News, Union Times, Union Grapevine, Newberry Observer, Newberry Shopper, Easley Progress and Pickens Sentinel.