Mt. Pleasant News, sister papers acquire new ownership
BY CHELSEA KEENAN, The Gazette
and BRYCE KELLY, Mt. Pleasant News
Changes are coming for the Mt. Pleasant News, but its commitment to quality news reporting most certainly is not.
As of Thursday morning, Gazette Communicatons,, which runs The Cedar Rapids Gazette, has purchased the Mt. Pleasant News, the Fairfield Ledger and the Washington Journal, otherwise known as the Golden Triangle. In total, all three papers currently have a combined circulation of about 5,600.
“Each of these newspapers are respected leaders in their communities,” said Jim Burke, publisher of The Gazette. “They hit all the boxes.”
Burke said the company saw an opportunity to expand its footprint as well as add to the quality journalism carried in all three newspapers.
The three papers will maintain their names, Burke added, as well as local content.
“The News staff is enthusiastic about this new venture,” said Mt. Pleasant News editor, Karyn Spory. “Over the course of the past year and a half, we have made great strides to modernize our paper, as well as increase our local news coverage. We see this acquisition as the next step to bringing you, the reader, the best news coverage possible.”
The recent sale also means residents in those communities will see changes, Burke says. Color Web Printers, owned by Gazette Communications, has the ability to print color photos, for example. In addition, the papers now will be able to publish statehouse coverage from Gazette reporters.
“We’ll learn things to apply in Cedar Rapids as well,” Burke said.
With the acquisition, which closed at 12:01 a.m., on Thursday, Gazette Communications brings on 39 employees.
Color Web Printers, in Cedar Rapids, will take over printing of the newspapers beginning with their Thursday afternoon editions.
“It was our desire to seek a buyer who had the financial resources and commitment to quality, who would preserve through the challenging times ahead to see these publications serving the communities of Mt. Pleasant, Washington and Fairfield remain strong, healthy and vibrant for decades into the future,” said Brian Murray, Inland Industries chairman, in a statement.
Inland Industries is the parent of Inland Media Co., which owned the three newspapers.
“The more we learn about The Gazette, the more we like their forward thinking, and commitment to employees and communities they serve,” Murray continued. “We would like to see that philosophy hold strong within these communities for our employees and the people we have served throughout our many years of ownership.”
In 2012, The Gazette Company — which includes The Gazette, Color Web Printers, digital-marketing agency Fusion Farm and Vernon Research Group — bought out the descendants of C.L. Miller and Fred Faulks, who had owned the paper for decades. The company was placed in a trust for the benefit of the employees.