The Herald-Dispatch purchased by HD Media Co.
HUNTINGTON -- The Herald-Dispatch was sold by Champion Industries Friday to HD Media Company, LLC, for $10 million.
The media company was formed specifically for the purpose of buying the newspaper assets from Champion, which has owned The Herald-Dispatch since 2007. Doug Reynolds, managing member of HD Media Company, met with employees on Friday and discussed his interest in keeping the newspaper in local hands and growing the company.
"My goals for the paper are for it to be a thriving business and produce the best journalistic content in the state," said Reynolds, 37, a Huntington attorney and businessman who represents the 17th District in the West Virginia House of Delegates. Reynolds, who purchased the company with a group of local investors, is the son of Marshall T. Reynolds, chairman of Champion Industries.
Looking forward, one area of focus will be digital content, Reynolds said. The newspaper has done a good job of reaching readers over 50, but needs to do more to penetrate the market of younger readers, he said.
The newspaper company has 118 full- and part-time employees, and they were told Friday that their jobs and benefits would be retained through the transaction.
"We are excited that The Herald-Dispatch will continue to have local ownership with a focus on serving Tri-State readers and advertisers," said Ed Dawson, editor and publisher of The Herald-Dispatch. "I appreciate the faith it shows in our employees, but also the important commitment to our community."
The Herald-Dispatch has been serving the Tri-State since its founding in 1909. The newspaper became part of Huntington Publishing, founded by Joseph Harvey Long, in 1927 and continued with that local ownership until 1971, when it was purchased by Gannett Co.
Gannett owned The Herald-Dispatch until 2007, when it sold the company to Gatehouse Media. Gatehouse owned the paper briefly before a sale later that year to Huntington-based Champion Industries.