Mid-Western Editor's Perspective On A GateHouse Acquisition

Jun 14, 2018

Following the January sale, The Register-Guard became a GateHouse paper, now the only one in Oregon. However, the holding corporation owns 10-percent of daily papers nationwide. KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert spoke to a former editor at her hometown, Missouri newspaper who experienced a GateHouse takeover.

For nearly two decades, Chip Price was Chief Copy Editor at the Columbia Daily Tribune. In 2016, the 100 year old, family-owned paper was sold to GateHouse. As a cost-cutting measure, the copy desk was dissolved. Five of six copy editors were laid off and the work of editing and page design was outsourced to a center in Austin, Texas. The same thing just happened at the paper in Eugene.

Cover of Columbia Daily Tribune after sale to GateHouse Media in 2016.
Credit Amy Simons

Reporter: “What would you say to some of the copy editors who are at the Register-Guard? Any parting words, any supportive words, any words of warning?”

“I would say to them the same thing that many people at other papers that were taken over by GateHouse said to us. Which is ‘Get your resumes ready. Start looking for something else.’”

Price says when local content started disappearing from the Tribune, subscriptions rates fell. Similar changes are taking place at the RG in Eugene but it’s too soon to tell how readers will react.