Free Press Publishing Co. of Cheney, has assumed full ownership of The Ritzville Adams County Journal, acquiring the newspaper from Stephen McFadden.
The acquisition, McFadden said, will serve to strengthen The Journal during a time when newspapers across the nation continue to wrestle with ever-changing economic conditions.
The company publishes the Spokane Valley News Herald, Cheney Free Press and The Davenport Times and has handled the printing of The Journal for decades.
William Ifft, president of Free Press Publishing Co., said readers and advertisers should expect few changes in the coming weeks. The Journal will keep its office in Ritzville with regular hours of operation. Current staff members will continue to produce the weekly newspaper and maintain its online presence. McFadden will continue as publisher and editor. Katelin Davidson remains as news editor.
The Journal has been published continually since 1887 and marked its 125 anniversary in 2011.
“Free Press Publishing Co. has the tools and the resources to ensure The Journal’s future as a community newspaper,” McFadden said. “This merger will automate the circulation and mailing procedures on Wednesdays. The Cheney Free Press has an award winning graphic arts department, which will enhance the overall design of the newspaper and its advertisements.”
Community newspapers continue to have a solid readership while most metropolitan daily newspapers have experienced a steady decline, mainly due to the popularity of the Internet.
The National Newspaper Association (NNA) reported this week that 67 percent of residents in small U.S. communities read local newspapers at least once a week. The findings were included in results of the 2013 Community Newspaper Readership Study conducted for NNA by The Reynolds Journalism Institute. In the same study, 78 percent of readers said they rely on newspapers for local news and information.