The Lawrence Journal-World, owned by the Simons family for 125 years, has been sold to the Wheeling, W.Va.-based publishing company Ogden Newspapers for an undisclosed price.
The sale is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter, according to a story on the Journal-World’s website. The sale was announced to management and staff by Dolph C. Simons Jr., editor of the Journal-World and chairman of The World Co., which owns the paper.
Simons said in the story that the decision to sell was made because “in today’s business environment it is becoming increasingly difficult for a stand-alone, family-owned daily newspaper to compete and provide the product owners desire.”
In addition to the Lawrence paper, the transaction includes the Journal-World’s other media assets — weekly newspapers in Shawnee and Tonganoxie, more than a dozen websites and a specialty publications division, the Journal-World said.
The Journal-World said the newspaper expects to remain in its offices under a lease negotiated as part of the transaction. The newspaper is printed at The Kansas City Star’s press plant in downtown Kansas City.
The Journal-World began publishing in 1911, although it traces its roots to 1891, when W.C. Simons arrived in Lawrence and acquired The Lawrence Record.
In 2010, The World Co. sold some of its news media business to internet and cable provider Knology.
Ogden Newspapers was started by H.C. Ogden in 1890 in Wheeling, W.Va. The family-owned company continues to be run by Ogden’s descendents, the Nutting family.
The company publishes 40 daily newspapers, several magazines and shoppers in 14 states, including Florida, New York and Hawaii. Its operations include several specialty publications in Topeka, including Mother Earth News and Farm Collector, according to its website.
Steve Rosen: 816-234-4879