Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ailes buys weekly newspaper in new hometown

Not long ago we reported that Rupert Mudoch would remain a small-town publisher because his News Corp. had decided not to sell Ottaway Newspapers, acquired as part of Dow Jones & Co. Now his associate Roger Ailes, the creator and head of Fox News, is also a small-town publisher -- of the Putnam County News and Recorder in Cold Spring, N.Y., where he recently built a home. The town is on the east bank of the Hudson River just upstream and across from West Point, about 55 miles from midtown Manhattan. (Reuters photo)

The paper announced its sale last month, and The New York Times picked up on it today. Brian Stelter writes, “Residents of the area should not expect any sort of makeover, ideological or otherwise. The paper will 'probably stay the same,' said Elizabeth Ailes, Mr. Ailes’s wife, who will be the publisher. 'We bought it not to change it, but perhaps it will evolve over time.' The Aileses do not plan to manage the paper day to day; rather, they will hire a general manager. For now, the seller, Brian O’Donnell, who has been the publisher for 12 years, will stay on as a senior consultant.” O'Donnell declined to comment to the Times.

“It’s a really quaint paper,” Mrs. Ailes told Stelter in a telephone interview. “It reflects the community. We really like it, and that’s why Roger wanted to buy it.” (Read more) The paper is 142 years old but does not appear in the Editor & Publisher International Yearbook database. Stelter reports the paper has a circulation of about 3,000. The paper says the circulation is "100% paid" and it prints the legal notices for Putman County, two towns, two villages and two school districts.

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