An agreement has been reached for the Tribune Chronicle to acquire The Vindicator’s subscription list, The Vindicator masthead and the Vindy.com domain, Mark Brown, general manager of The Vindicator announced on August 16, 2019. John Cribb, Cribb, Greene & Cope, represented the Mark Brown Family and The Vindicator in the transaction.
The agreement clears the way for the Tribune Chronicle to produce an edition under the name of The Vindicator and the Tribune Chronicle has agreed to provide a newspaper for the remainder of the unexpired term of all subscribers of the Vindicator.
The owners of The Vindicator announced on June 28 the newspaper, which recently celebrated its 150th anniversary, would cease publication on Aug. 31 citing unprofitability for several years. The Tribune Chronicle announced on July 2 that it would attempt to fill the void left by the closure of The Vindicator by publishing a Mahoning County edition beginning Sept. 1.
“We have always felt strongly about the need to have a local newspaper. The agreement announced today provides The Vindicator’s subscribers with continued delivery of a daily print newspaper focused on their communities, Mahoning County and the Valley,” said Mark Brown, general manager of The Vindicator. “We are very happy to be able to provide our readers with a daily print newspaper from a family-owned company. The Nutting family and Ogden Newspapers have been in the publishing business since 1890.”
“We are extremely happy and honored to be able to preserve the long-respected name of the newspaper that has served this region for a century-and-a- half,” said Charles Jarvis, publisher of the Tribune Chronicle. “We look forward to delivering approximately 30,000 of the new The Vindicator editions to the people who have supported The Vindicator through the years and have developed a printed newspaper reading habit.”
The Tribune Chronicle has been planning increased coverage of Mahoning County and has added considerable resources to get that done. The Vindicator edition will be the area’s best source for Mahoning Valley news and will offer a strong advertising medium to support the businesses which drive the region’s economy.
Many of The Vindicator’s features, including all of the daily comics and most of the Sunday comics, will be included in The Vindicator edition.
The Tri-County Funeral Directors’ Association members who have traditionally published obituaries in The Vindicator are planning to use The Vindicator edition of the Tribune Chronicle, for their obituary Tributes. Local and state governmental agencies have indicated they will use The Vindicator edition to publish their legal advertisements.
Combining the Trumbull and the Mahoning editions of the Tribune Chronicle will provide advertisers with a combined reach of nearly 50,000 households. Youngstown now will not be the largest city in Ohio without a daily newspaper.
“We are committed to publishing a newspaper for Mahoning County that will give the community a strong voice,” Jarvis said. “While we could never fully replace the great work done by The Vindicator’s publisher, management and staff, we believe we will produce really good newspaper as a replacement –one that the community can be proud of.”
The Tribune Chronicle plans to contract with as many current Vindicator carriers as possible in order to provide a seamless transition on Sept. 1.
Jarvis stressed that this whole process is on a very fast track and the Sept. 1 transition may not be as smooth as hoped.
“If there are some missed deliveries in the first few days, we hope the subscribers will let us know and give us the opportunity to fix the problems. We have always been committed to excellent customer service.”
Hundreds of people have already reached out to the Tribune Chronicle to subscribe to the announced Mahoning County edition. If those who have subscribed are current The Vindicator subscribers, the Tribune Chronicle will extend the expiration of The Vindicator subscriptions. Those subscribers who make automatic payments from their bank accounts should contact the Tribune Chronicle to make sure a secure transaction is established and maintained.
Cribb, Greene & Cope is a 96 year-old media brokerage and appraisal firm with offices in Montana, California, Arkansas and Virginia.
Manchester Newspapers is a weekly newspaper and specialty publishing company that prints five newspapers each week as well as 40-plus specialty publications annually. Its parent newspaper, the Granville Sentinel, has been in the family since its founding in 1875 by James Lillie McArthur, great-grandfather of the current owner.
Other newspapers included in the sale are the Whitehall Times, the North Country FreePress, the Hudson Falls FreePress and the Lakes Region FreePress. All totaled the newspapers are delivered into some 33,000 homes each week.
Publishers John and Lisa Manchester said Capital Region Independent Media was the perfect fit for the purchase.
“The new owner, Mark Vinciguerra, is dedicated to continuing publishing quality, locally owned newspapers and he realizes the importance these newspapers have to the communities they serve. He also will be able to greatly enhance the digital and internet aspects of the business, which is so critical these days,” said John Manchester.
“Our family has been blessed to have been able to serve our readers over the past 144 years,” he added. “That success we attribute to our loyal readers and businesses that were so generous in supporting our journalistic efforts.
“Lastly, we cannot thank enough our dedicated staff that have worked so hard in helping us make our small country weekly newspapers a success over the years.”
John Thomas Cribb of Cribb, Greene & Cope represented the Manchesters in their sale to Capital Region Independent Media. Cribb, Greene & Cope is a leading merger and acquisition firm with offices in Arkansas, Montana, and California.