O’Rourke Media Group buys CITYSunTimes (News & Tech)

June 8, 2020

Article by: NEWS & TECH

O’Rourke Media Group buys CITYSunTimes

The CITYSunTimes, serving Scottsdale, Arizona, and nearby areas, has been bought by the O’Rourke Media Group, the paper reported. O’Rourke Media Group publishes community papers in Arizona, Vermont, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The company also offers digital marketing solutions and print/design services. “We’re looking forward to entering the Phoenix market,” said Jim O’Rourke, CEO and owner. The free paper is delivered to homes and businesses. The paper said local staff can expect to be retained. “Actually, I anticipate adding resources and people to help support digital audience and revenue growth,” says O’Rourke. CITYSunTimes was founded in 2002 by Hope Ozer and bought in 2013 by Lorrie Pomeroy. In May, O’Rourke Media bought the Cannon Falls Beacon and the Cannon Shopper (Cannon Falls, Minnesota) from the Dalton family. Julie Bergman of Grimes, McGovern & Associates represented the Dalton family in the transaction.

Newsrooms roiled; Two Editors Resign

Several newsrooms have been roiled by internal and external events recently:

  • Stan Wischnowski, the top editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, has resigned in the wake of anger over a headline on a column on civil unrest. “Buildings Matter, Too” was the headline.
  • In a statement, the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh said that on Sunday, guild member Alexis Johnson posted a tweet “deemed so controversial and biased by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette management that it barred her the next day from all protest-related coverage.” The tweet referenced looting and a Kenny Chesney concert tailgate.

CNN said it was pursuing a statement from the paper on the matter.

  • James Bennet resigned Sunday from his job as the editorial page editor of The New York Times, after the paper’s opinion section published an op-ed by Arkansas Republican senator Tom Cotton calling for a military response to unrest in U.S. cities.

Poynter has a piece on the NYT situation here.

Royle Printing Adds Manroland Press

Wisconsin-based Royle Printing has added a manroland Rotoman S, the Sun Praire Star reported. The press should be up and running by the end of this month, the paper said. “We are thrilled to have this press in our arsenal and after a long set-up period, our team is anxious to put it to work for our customers,” said Chris Carpenter, president and owner of Royle Printing. “This investment is essential to our strategic direction and growth, further positioning Royle Printing as a key resource for the catalog and publishing markets.” Royle is based in Sun Prairie and has facilities on South Bird Street and in the Sun Prairie Business Park. Royle has 285 employees.

Free Press Standard sold to AloNovus

Publisher David Schloss has sold the Free Press Standard (Carrollton, Ohio) to the AloNovus Corp. of Millersburg, Ohio. The deal closed May 29. Ken Blum of Grimes, McGovern & Associates represented the sellers in the transaction. AloNovus has a network of weekly and monthly papers in eleven counties of Ohio. Total distribution of the combined publications approaches 400,000. The firm was founded by Abe and Fran Mast in the early 1970s and is now owned and operated by their sons. The staff at the FPS will be retained. “We’re thrilled to add such a storied newspaper to our menu of print products,” said Michael Mast, AloNovus president. “In addition, we have the great good fortune of adding a skilled and experienced team of news professionals to our staff.” The seller, Schloss Media, is based in Cadiz, Ohio, and owner David Schloss said he was pleased to sell to a progressive family-owned company. Schloss and his wife, Emily, will continue to own and operate the Harrison News Herald in Harrison County.

News-Times Adopting Digital Format, Subscribers to get iPads

WEHCO Media has announced that the El Dorado News-Times (El Dorado, Arizona) will be adopting a digital format in August and all subscribers will be able to claim an iPad to access the digital replica. The News-Times will also continue to have a Sunday print edition each week. WEHCO Media Publisher Walter E. Hussman Jr. said moving to a digital format is the only viable way to continue producing community journalism every day for Union County residents. The WEHCO-owned Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock) announced an iPad program in 2018. The paper produces print only on Sunday. Little Rock-based WEHCO operates daily and weekly papers, magazines and cable television companies in six states. WEHCO, pronounced WAY-CO, is an acronym for Walter E. Hussman Company.

Herald to Publish Three Times a Week
On June 16, the Fort Bend Herald (Rosenberg, Texas) will start a three-day-a-week printing schedule, the paper reported, and will have a new focus on digital news coverage and features, said Clyde C. King Jr., publisher of the Herald and chairman of parent company Hartman Newspapers. Print editions will be distributed to subscribers in the mail and to single-copy readers at newsracks and retail locations on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The COVID-19 pandemic was behind the moves, the paper said.

More News

  • The Athletic is cutting almost 8% of employees, 46 staff members, according to an internal memo, Axios reported.
  • The U.S. Senate has confirmed filmmaker Michael Pack to lead the United States Agency for Global Media, the federal agency that runs the Voice of America and other state-funded media.
  • The Lawton Constitution (Oklahoma) applied for and got grant money from Google that will be used to help low-income people pay for a subscription.


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