The Dover Post Co., founded in 1975 by Jim Flood Sr. and a group of local civic leaders, has been sold to GateHouse Media Inc., according to John Cribb of Cribb, Greene & Associates, who represented the seller in the transaction.
In addition to the Dover Post, the sale includes the statewide family of newspapers: the Middletown Transcript, Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times, Milford Beacon, Sussex Countian, Better Years, the Community News publications near Wilmington, plus the Express, a classified publication distributed throughout most of the Delmarva Peninsula.
Also included in the sale are the Dover Post web printing operation, which prints all the company newspapers plus a wide variety of weeklies, monthlies and specialty publications, mostly in Delaware and Maryland, and the sheet fed printing operation.
GateHouse Media, based in Fairport, N.Y., owns more than 500 newspapers in 24 states, with the average paper being about the same size as the Middletown Transcript.
“That’s why we thought GateHouse Media would be a good fit,” said Jim Flood Jr., president of the Dover Post Co. “They concentrate on what we’ve always done, local news. Their strategy is to buy good local newspapers and to continue to let them do what they do best.”
All Dover Post Co. employees have been hired by GateHouse at their current pay rate; their benefits will see a small improvement.
“That, of course, was another strong point,” Flood said. “We have many employees, some over 20 years, who have played an important role in our success. We wanted them taken care of.”
Kevin Kampman, regional vice president of GateHouse Media, said, “We are thrilled with the acquisition of the Dover Post Company and Community Publications. They are outstanding examples of quality community newspapers.
“We look forward to continuing the fine community journalism the Flood family has maintained throughout their years of ownership,” Kampman said.
Although all seven children of Jim and Mary Flood have worked for the company at one time or another, the family members who have most recently been employed at the Post, in addition to Jim Flood Jr., are Mary and Fred Kaltreider, advertising coordinators, and Don Flood, editor of the Dover Post.
Jim Flood Jr. and Mary Kaltreider will continue working on a consulting basis for a short time to ease the transition.
Don Flood, who also acted as editor in chief, feels confident the newspapers will continue to build on their solid local reputations.
“We have a lot of good people at our newspapers,” Flood said. “I feel comfortable knowing that they are strong enough to not only keep up the tradition but to improve upon it. Newspapers will continue to evolve and change but what won’t change is the staffs’ commitment to their communities. And that’s what GateHouse wants too.”
Mary Kaltreider expressed similar thoughts about the advertising staffs, which have always emphasized service.
“We have an experienced and enthusiastic team of advertising representatives who enjoy working with local businesses and helping them attract new customers with creative ideas and suggestions, and that level of service is just as important to GateHouse as it has been to us,” said Mary Kaltreider.
“Just as we have seen over the years, GateHouse knows that advertising in community newspapers gets results,” added Fred Kaltreider
The company also depends on people in many other departments, human resources, administration, information technology, circulation, production and the friendly front desks, a tradition that started in 1975 with Jim Flood Sr., the publisher emeritus who retired at the end of 2007.
“It is my expectation that under new management the newspapers of the Dover Post Co. will continue to serve readers and advertisers well and we have confidence in bright futures for everyone involved,” Flood Sr. said.
“We also deeply appreciate the wonderful support given the newspapers by readers and advertisers for so many years.”
Cribb, Greene & Associates is an eighty-five year old newspaper brokerage company with offices in Bozeman, Montana and Charlottesville, Virginia.