AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The dreary day set the back drop as Morris Publishing is giving up the family business and selling the Augusta Chronicle.
“My father started here in 1929 at the Augusta Chronicle and our family has been here ever since, but certainly from that stand point it’s a bittersweet moment,” said William Morris III, Chairman of Morris Communications.
The Chronicle is being bought by GateHouse Media, but the change in ownership will not bring a change in the Chronicle Leadership Stephen Wade will stay on as president and says the new company and its 130 other newspapers will provide Chronicle readers greater news content.
“Papers nationwide, as I mentioned this morning if you’re an SEC football fan they own the papers where the University of Missouri, where the University of Florida is of courses we have Georgia they also own the University of Florida newspaper too,” said Wade.
Under the deal the new company will set up shop in the existing Chronicle building on Broad Street, which Morris will continue to own, and there should be little change in what gets written on the editorial page because Mister Morris will stay on as publisher.
“None of that should change nor should the journalism effort because they’re committed to the same kind of journalism that our family was and has been committed to for years,” said Morris.
But the company can’t commit that there will be no layoffs at the Chronicle with the acquisition.
“There maybe areas where we see we have to have efficiencies that’s been the nature of this industry we don’t come in with any initial expectations about that or playbook around that,” said Kirk Davis, CEO of Gatehouse Media.
The deal is expected to close in early October; The CEO for GateHouse, Kirk Davis says the price of the acquisition of Morris Publishing is 120 million dollars.