The Pueblo Chieftain, the oldest daily newspaper in Colorado, is being sold to GateHouse Media, “one of the largest publishers of locally based media in the United States,” says a Tuesday news release from Managing Editor Steve Henson.
Terms of the agreement between Star-Journal Publishing Corp. of Pueblo and GateHouse were not disclosed, but the sale is expected to be completed within 30 days.
Henson did not return a call Tuesday afternoon.
Jane Rawlings became president of the Star-Journal Publishing Corp. and publisher of The Pueblo Chieftain in October 2016, the release says. Her father, Robert Hoag Rawlings, owner, publisher and editor of the newspaper for decades, died in March 2017.
“It was my dad’s wish that The Chieftain would be sold upon his death, with proceeds to be placed in the Rawlings Foundation and that those funds would be used for the betterment of Pueblo and Southern Colorado,” Rawlings said in the release.
The Chieftain began as a weekly newspaper, The Colorado Chieftain, on June 1, 1868, the release says. It became The Pueblo Chieftain in the early 20th century.
GateHouse Media plans to “be an extremely active partner with the Pueblo community,” the release says.
“We are honored that the Rawlings family has chosen us to continue the stewardship of this great community newspaper for years to come,” said Jason Taylor, president of Western U.S. Publishing Operations for GateHouse Media.
It was important to Rawlings to find an owner committed to carry on the family’s legacy — “to fight for water, for community projects, to put a spotlight on government and to celebrate the citizens, businesses and institutions that make Pueblo and Southern Colorado unique,” the release says.
“My committee and I were excited to meet with GateHouse executives, who demonstrated their clear commitment to producing an outstanding local news report and to leave the opinion side of the newspaper – editorials, endorsements, etc. – under local control,” Jane Rawlings said in the release.
GateHouse publishes more than 560 community papers, including 124 daily newspapers, along with more than 485 affiliated websites reaching 22 million people a week, the release says.
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