Ogden Newspapers will purchase The Courier of Findlay and the Review Times of Fostoria from the Findlay Publishing Co., according to Jeffrey Potts of Cribb, Greene & Cope who represents the Heminger family and Findlay Publishing Co.
Karl Heminger and his brother, Kurt, are the fourth generation of their family to operate the newspapers. Karl Heminger said Ogden Newspapers and the Nutting family were the right choice to be the newspapers’ next stewards.
“The Courier has been the vital watchdog for our community since Volume 1, Issue 1. We’ve helped make Findlay and Hancock County a better place to live. My family’s been honored to be part of this history for four generations and 131 years,” Karl Heminger said.
“The family has decided it’s time to let a bigger and stronger family push ahead. We’ve decided to sell The Courier and Review Times to the Nutting family and Ogden Newspapers of Wheeling, West Virginia. They’ve been in the newspaper business almost as long as we have. But they have the scale and financial heft to push their way to the top of the hill. But maybe most importantly they are also a family business and share the same commitment to the communities they live in.”
Findlay Publishing Co. will continue to operate three radio stations in Findlay and four in Columbus, Indiana.
Ogden Newspapers CEO Robert Nutting commended the Heminger family for its 130-plus year stewardship of The Courier, and 19-year ownership of the Review Times, and said his family looks forward to continuing the legacy of community-based journalism in both Findlay and Fostoria.
“The residents of Findlay and Fostoria have been well served by The Courier and the Review Times, and we hope to honor and build on their legacy of impressive work,” Nutting said. “We look forward to publishing great community-focused newspapers and operating their vital digital media platforms to serve the residents of the region long into the future.”
Ogden Newspapers already has a strong presence in the region, as the company has published the Advertiser-Tribune in Tiffin for more than a quarter-century. Earlier this year, the company acquired the Sandusky Register and Norwalk Reflector from the Rau and White families, further solidifying its commitment to serving readers in northern Ohio.
This group of newspapers — which also includes magazines, community guides and digital news operations and websites — will provide a platform with the most journalists covering community news in the region.
This will allow Ogden Newspapers to build a strong multimedia team to focus on community news and regional advertising opportunities in northern Ohio.
“The Findlay and Fostoria newspapers are becoming part of one of the largest news-gathering teams in Ohio,” Nutting said. “The addition of The Courier and the Review Times to our family of newspapers will provide opportunities to readers — both in print and online — to experience more comprehensive community news coverage and in-depth reporting on regional issues.
“Also, with publications in Findlay, Sandusky, Fostoria, Norwalk and Tiffin, we’re particularly excited about the potential to create greater marketing opportunities for local businesses seeking to expand their footprint in the region.”
Nutting said local newspapers serve an essential role in shaping strong communities.
“We continue to believe very strongly in the power of printed newspapers. We believe in their value to readers, advertisers, and communities. We believe the role of newspapers such as The Courier and the Review Times are fundamental to communities now more than ever,” Nutting said.
“When you combine the print newspaper readership and its growing online readership with the range of targeted niche publications, these outlets serve more readers and advertisers than any other media outlet.”
In addition to the five northern Ohio newspapers, Ogden Newspapers publishes The Vindicator in Youngstown along with seven other dailies in the state. The company also publishes an additional 39 daily newspapers and a number of weekly newspapers and magazines in 15 other states.
The sale is expected to close later this month.
Jeffrey Potts of Cribb, Greene & Cope represents the Heminger family and Findlay Publishing Co. Cribb, Greene & Cope is a leading merger and acquisition firm with offices in Arkansas, Montana, and California.