Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'Peoria Journal Star' Reacts to Sale to GateHouse

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'Peoria Journal Star' Reacts to Sale to GateHouse

Article excerpt

Staffers at the Peoria Journal Star learned on Tuesday that it was one of nine Copley dailies included in the big sale to GateHouse Media (see other story on this site). Union members there have been campaigning for weeks to spread the notion that the paper must be sold to a company that believed in quality journalism and a respect for organized labor.

The Journal Star carried a story about the sale on its Web site late Tuesday. It included the following passages.

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Ken Mauser, Journal Star acting publisher, said, "I want to thank the Journal Star employees for continuing to do a great job through the sale process and as we move to new ownership under GateHouse Media."

News of the acquisition came late Tuesday and analysts who cover the newspaper industry could not be reached.

But Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates Inc., a firm that studies the industry, said he is very familiar with GateHouse and the acquisition should be "a very good thing" for the newspapers and the communities they serve.

"This is not the type of newspaper company that just owns newspapers and milks them for profit. This is a company that is very interested in the livelihood of its people and of the communities it serves. This should not cause the same kind of concerns people may have about other out-of-town owners," Borrell said.

One reason, he said, is that GateHouse CEO Reed comes from a community newspaper background and has assembled an executive team that believes in community involvement.

"GateHouse is a public company, so of course it will have to represent growth and profits to Wall Street. …

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