BG Geordie Wilson - AE

Geordie Wilson, who has been publisher of The News-Post since 2011, will remain in that role. He is shown on the Ballenger Creek Drive campus.

The Ogden Newspapers is officially the new owner of The Frederick News-Post starting Monday.

The Randall and Delaplaine families have owned and operated The Frederick News-Post for 133 years across five generations. The Randalls announced in March that the family would sell the paper to Ogden, another five-generation family-owned company.

Ogden Newspapers dates to 1890, starting with the launch of the Wheeling News in Wheeling, West Virginia, where the company remains headquartered.

“We are thrilled to be here,” said Cameron Nutting, director of strategic operations and initiatives at Ogden Newspapers. “This is a market we have been looking to become a part of for a long time. It’s a beautiful area with a rich history and a great sense of identity.”

Nutting, who lives near Washington, D.C., is helping the paper as the transition manager and will be on-site for much of the next four or five months, she said.

Because the two companies are privately held and do not discuss financials, the terms of the deal were not disclosed. Ogden purchased assets including the building and printing press, which The News-Post bought in 2006.

The transition included downsizing News-Post staff, though Nutting declined to give the exact number of News-Post employees who were let go. Nutting said the downsizing was necessary in order for the company to have long-term financial sustainability.

All employees who won’t be a part of The News-Post under the new ownership have been notified. Geordie Wilson, who has been publisher of The News-Post since 2011, will remain in that role.

“We are committed to this team,” Nutting said. “We’re confident that if you’re with us [today] that this is a sustainable size. “

Patrick B. Pexton, who joined The News-Post as editor in June 2015, was not offered employment under the new ownership. His position will be filled by a new editor in the coming weeks.

“Patrick is one of those all-stars that has been such a pleasure to work with,” Wilson said. “Patrick brought such a great eye for digging deeper in stories and helping a relatively young reporting staff up their game.”

Prior to serving as editor of The News-Post, Pexton was the ombudsman at The Washington Post.

“I took this job because I felt like I wanted to make a bigger impact in a smaller place like Frederick, rather than a smaller impact in a bigger place like Washington, D.C.,” Pexton said.

“I think what I’m most proud of is that the paper has become better-written, better-reported, and we have published deeper stories every day. I was hired to make the paper a better product and I think that’s what we did.”

With the Randall family no longer being a part of the paper, Wilson becomes the de facto local face of the newspaper, and he said he intends to get more involved in the community than he already has been.

Wilson, who lives in Frederick, is a board member with the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, among other community organizations.

Nutting and Wilson each reiterated a commitment to community journalism during this transition. Ogden Newspapers owns more than 40 newspapers nationwide.

“We emphasize local control,” Nutting said. “Community newspapers are critical and will only survive when they focus on exclusive local content that you can’t get anywhere else.”

Single-site operations like The News-Post under the Randall family often struggle to meet the financial demands that go with operating a printing press and a newspaper.

“When you’re all alone in the world like we are, you have to bring in extraordinary talent within these four walls, which we have,” Wilson said. “When you move away from being a stand-alone operation, a couple things happen. First, the fate of the company does not rise based on every single thing we try. It doesn’t mean we can lose a bunch of money, but it takes some of the pressure off to knock everything out of the park.”

Follow Allen Etzler on Twitter: @AllenWEtzler.

(30) comments

chesapeakecountry

Hopefully the new owners can return the FNP to the political center where they used to be 25 years ago when I first subscribed.

Charles_Nelson_Reilly

My hope is that new ownership will base their reporting & opinion pieces to reflect the politics all of those who live in Frederick County. For too long the Randall family let their political ideology, which was no doubt to the left, control the entire newspaper's narrative. They without a doubt chased business away and then suffered the monetary losses that occur when you cater your publication to one or two zip codes of the liberal whites who live near Baker Park.

To new ownership, there is a real opportunity to win back some business by bringing on objective reporters who will report the truth on local politics and events. There is room for conservative and libertarian voices who can appeal to the MAJORITY in Frederick County.

shiftless88

What makes you think that the Randall family have a liberal viewpoint? Aren't businessmen supposed to be the epitome of conservatives? Can it be perhaps that they ARE in the center but you are so far to the right that it seems they are slanted to the left?

phydeaux994

I agree CNR, if you are in the majority you should win!! Oh wait, that's not always true.

CDReid

And thank God for that!

phydeaux994

CD, did you read public redux's 5:12p.m. post in the Healthcare story with the transcripts of Trump's interview about the NEW GOP Healthcare bill? Totally babblespeak. He just lies about everything he "plans" to do.

bicep42

We'll give it a month. If the quality of the new paper isn't acceptable we will be cancelling our 30 year subscription. From what I've heard about the new owners thus far, I'm not feeling optimistic.

DickD

My feelings too, bicep.

jwhamann

There's an unlimited supply of college interns to fill the empty desks.

CDReid

From the [lack of] quality the last few years I thought interns already sat at those desks. That's why I post "ya gotta love them FNP interns" so often. It would be a big help if they recruited and trained some locals for reporters, the current ones and either too dumb or lazy to check their work.

CaringCommunity

GREAT START! Getting rid of two of the best journalists here in the three decades...[crying]

Dwasserba

[thumbup]Caring

DickD

It is my hope the quality of the FNP remains high with good sports coverage. If it is not, it is goodbye.

des21

You're absolutely right about that Dick. I can't get the Sun delivered to my home or i would. (I do get it on-line but don't always look at it.) I get the FNP for the O's coverage and local sports. If that goes I'm gone.

BstD59

My area of interest is local news. If they seriously cut back on the local news I will end my 15 year subscription. And what about the comments section? Will those remain or be eliminated? I feel as if I know many of you although we have never met.

teapartier

Concerning the above picture. From body language 101 the two most common reasons for standing with arms crossed, 1) It's cold outside 2) it means that they're closed for arguments. By crossing the arms, a barrier is put in front of the body, as some sort of protection.

Staff
Publisher

Or, perhaps, 3) the photographer says, "try one turned sideways, with your arms crossed." Just maybe...

public-redux

Oh, how would you know??? [beam]

public-redux

It depends where the hands are. Tucked in, as they are in the photo, is the "closed and resisting" position. Hands on the outside is "skeptical but open to persuasion". As an afaithiest, I do the latter a lot.

DickD

Yes, it is done to show power and control. Do we get the WV far right ideas? If we do, it is sonora.

Dwasserba

"Sonora" means "sound" in Spanish

DickD

How about Adios? [lol]

CDReid

Thank God for Google Translate!

teapartier

How ironic, on the first day of new ownership, they publish the new executives compensation package in the editorial section in form of a cartoon.

Fawned

"The transition included downsizing News-Post staff, though Nutting declined to give the exact number of News-Post employees who were let go. Nutting said the downsizing was necessary in order for the company to have long-term financial sustainability." Here we gOoOoOoOoOoO it's all about the money!!

jwhamann

There needs to be some investigative reporting on this.

DickD

It always is, that can be good management, if it does not hurt quality. My fear is it might.

jagman

All business is "all about the money". Why would you think the news business is any different?

jwhamann

Three days of this 'news.' [sleeping]

public-redux

C'mon, they only do it every century or so.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.