Author archives: John Crouch

GateHouse Media acquires Southern Kitchen from Cox Media Group

GateHouse Media and Cox Media Group recently announced that the operations of Cox’s Southern Kitchen, the Atlanta-based Southern food and lifestyle brand, have been acquired by GateHouse.

“We believe GateHouse Media is a great fit for Southern Kitchen — the GateHouse leadership team believes in the vision for the business, values the great work accomplished by our team and is excited about the opportunities ahead. Southern Kitchen is in good hands with GateHouse Media,” said Cox Media Group President Kim Guthrie.

GateHouse Media purchased The Palm Beach Post, Palm Beach Daily News and Austin American-Statesman newspapers from Cox earlier this year.

“We’re pleased to announce another acquisition with Cox Media Group,” said Kirk Davis, CEO of GateHouse Media. “Southern Kitchen is a natural addition to our portfolio. It enhances the outstanding food and entertainment coverage featured in our local properties and will contribute to our growing food events business. We also see Southern Kitchen as a great platform for further developing our ecommerce capabilities.”

Cox Media launched Southern Kitchen in 2017 as a destination for the stories, recipes and heritage of food in today’s South. The site celebrates cooking and entertaining with a Southern flair and features an e-commerce store with curated products from national and niche brands and local artisans across the region.

Monroe News honored by Michigan Press Association

14.05.2018 John Crouch Awards

From an original story by Monroe News staff.

The Monroe News recently won seven awards in the Michigan Press Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest.

The contest featured 2,967 entries by 100 Michigan newspapers and was judged by members of the Missouri Press Association.

The Monroe News was in Class B for papers with circulations between 11,001 and 20,000. The contest was for work published Aug. 1, 2016 to July 31, 2017.

Monroe Magazine’s summer edition 2017 took first place in the special section category. Judges recognized the layout of the magazine, which was done by Holly Laginess, photographs by Tom Hawley and stories by reporters Danielle Portteus and Pam Meade. That issue featured stories on Indian Creek Zoo in Lambertville, the corner of flowers maintained by Paul Livernois in Monroe, Frank Connolly’s jewelry designs and a Bedford Township’s couple’s backyard and home.

“Beautifully laid out magazine,” the judge said. “Vibrant photos played particularly well. Absolutely loaded with info.”

Sports editor Niles Kruger was presented with two awards, first and second place, in sports writing. His piece “Next Stop, Ford Field,” about Whiteford’s football team reaching the state championship took first place. The second place entry, “Levicki carries load” about Ida’s Nick Levicki, was recognized as “a very close second. Great game story,” the judge said.

Hawley’s photo story “Courage with a Smile” about Elyse (Elly) Wickenheiser’s cancer battle took second place.

“Photos here did a nice job to telling an overall story and it was strongly edited to clearly focus on the subject,” the judge said. “Each photo had a good emotional pull.”

Portteus took third place in the spot news category for her work covering the fire at BridgePoint Church in Temperance.

Sports reporter Ryan Loren received an honorable mention in the sports feature category for his piece “Living his dreams” about Milan baseball player Denver Jackson.

Staff received an honorable mention for best newspaper design for “Trump wins.”

“The centerpiece on the presidential election is a unique way to present an event that everyone else had,” the judge said. “Overall, the News does a great job using photos throughout the paper.”

Read the original story here.

GateHouse Media completes acquisition of the Akron Beacon Journal, sale of GateHouse Media Alaska Holdings assets

GateHouse Media recently announced that it has completed its acquisition of substantially all of the publishing and related assets of the Akron Beacon Journal from Black Press Ltd. for $16 million on May 11, 2018. In a separate transaction, Gatehouse has completed its sale of substantially all of the publishing and related assets of GateHouse Media Alaska Holdings Inc. to Black Press.

The Akron Beacon Journal has been the newspaper of record in Greater Akron for more than 175 years. It has a daily circulation of more than 68,000 and also offers the leading digital source of news for the local market, It has received the Pulitzer Prize four times and annually receives many accolades for its journalism. Akron is located in northeast Ohio and is the fifth-largest city in the state and is the county seat of Summit County. It has a low cost of living and strong retail sales, with both per capita income and median home values higher than the state average.

Original release at New Media.

Tony Bernados named president of Augusta Chronicle, Chronicle Media

From an original story by Augusta Chronicle staff.

Tony Bernados was recently named the new president of The Augusta Chronicle and Chronicle Media.

“We are excited to have Tony return to Augusta to lead our diverse media portfolio. He brings experience, a deep commitment to community and is well suited to lead The Chronicle team as we evolve and transform our products and services,” said Mike Traynor, Gatehouse Media Georgia Group publisher. “In his new position, Tony will be responsible for all facets of the day-to-day operations of The Chronicle and its portfolio of assets.”

Bernados will start in his new position June 5.

“Tony knows this business and he knows this community,” said Chronicle publisher William S. Morris III. “He’s done a great job in the past and he is poised to be a strong leader for our future.”

Bernados, a 19-year veteran of the media industry, has spent the last two years as president and publisher of Gatehouse Media’s St. Augustine Florida Record and 12 years with Augusta-based Morris Communications in key advertising and revenue roles. Prior to joining Morris, Bernados held executive positions with Scripps Howard, Evening Post Publishing Company and Block Communications.

“Like many before me, I am committed to delivering quality local journalism across all platforms and providing top of the line marketing solutions to serve the needs of the community. To be part of a brand that has been reporting news and providing information for 233 years is both an honor and a privilege,” Bernados said. “I am extremely excited to return to the CSRA and serve a community that has been so good to me and my family over the years.”

In St. Augustine, Bernados has served as campaign chair for the United Way and is on the board of directors for the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce and St. Johns Volunteers. He also is a Flagler College School of Business Advisor and a member of the Rotary Club of St. Augustine.

Bernados and his wife Donna have three children: Ethan, Gavin and William J.

Read the original story here.

Paul Gaier named publisher of Peoria Journal Star

From an original story by Journal Star staff.

Paul Gaier was recently named the new president and publisher of the Peoria Journal Star and

“I am excited to work with such a talented group of media professionals. Our focus will be to serve the greater Peoria community with an eye toward growing our franchise while working with local businesses to thrive,” said Gaier, who was previously publisher of the Rockford Register Star, which he will continue to oversee in his new role as president of GateHouse’s Illinois operation. GateHouse Media has 33 publications in Illinois, including 14 daily newspapers.

Gaier led the Rockford market for the past several years of growth. Under his leadership, the Register Star was named one of 10 newspapers that “Do It Right” by Editor & Publisher magazine in 2017. He has been with GateHouse Media since 2012, when he joined the Peoria Journal Star as director of advertising.

Gaier, who had roles with the United Way, the Economic Development Council and Leadership Council in Rockford, plans to be engaged in the Peoria community. “I want to play a role in helping to make Peoria a better place to live,” he said.

He said he is extremely committed to the Journal Star’s role as the community’s watchdog. “I grew up in the newspaper business and lived with it my whole life,” he said. “I’m committed to our role in supporting the First Amendment.”

Gaier is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and minor in marketing.

Read the original story here.

Vince Bodiford named publisher at The Daily Telegram

Original text by The Monroe News staff

Vince Bodiford

Vince Bodiford, president and publisher of The Monroe News, was recently named publisher of The Daily Telegram in Adrian, Michigan.

The Telegram, Lenawee County’s daily newspaper, and The Monroe News are owned by GateHouse Media.

“Vince is a strong leader and has heavy experience with involvement in the local community,” said Orestes Baez, group publisher and president of Gatehouse Media, Michigan. “He has owned and operated his own papers and will bring a fresh set of eyes to our Adrian property and products.”

The Adrian publisher position was restructured, allowing Bodiford the opportunity to lead both publications. Michigan has four publishers overseeing 10 print and digital properties across the state.

“This is a great team of people and, like them, I am committed to ensuring that The Daily Telegram is a strong community voice and partner,” Bodiford said.

Bodiford is married with two grown children and four grandchildren.

His interests include boating, the outdoors, antiques and fine art. He also is an auto enthusiast.

He joined The Monroe News in March 2017.

Read the original story here.

Monroe News’ Tom Hawley, Niles Kruger honored by Michigan Associated Press Media Editors

27.04.2018 John Crouch Awards

Original text by Monroe News staff. 

Monroe News photographer Tom Hawley was recently honored with two first-place awards and one second-place award in the annual Michigan Associated Press Media Editors newspaper competition.

Hawley received a first place award in the spot news category for “Tearful Fire.”

His photo story, “A Mother’s Strength” also won first place. The photo story featured Lesley Daniels, a Flat Rock resident who learned to walk again after an accident.

Hawley took second place in the sports photo category with his picture “Foul Catch.”

Niles Kruger, Monroe News sports editor, earned a second-place award for best sport column, “A Long, Memorable Day.”

Twenty-eight daily newspapers submitted 978 entries in the contest, which featured news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns, graphics and photos from 2017.

Entries were judged by editors from The Canton (Ohio) Repository and The Chronicle Telegram in Elyria, Ohio.

Read the original report here.

Daytona Beach News-Journal’s Ken Willis honored with national SPJ writing award

27.04.2018 John Crouch Awards

Original text by Jim Abbott, Daytona Beach News-Journal

Ken Willis, sports columnist and senior staff writer at The Daytona Beach News-Journal, was recently named a winner in the 2017 Sigma Delta Chi Awards for excellence in journalism.

Willis was honored in the category of Feature Writing among daily publications with circulations from 50,001 to 100,000 for “Lightning: A Survivor’s Tale,” an A1 story published in the Aug. 27, 2017 edition of The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

The narrative feature recounted the dramatic story of James Church, a 55-year-old Port Orange resident nearly killed by an early-morning lightning strike on the Ponce Inlet fishing jetty. The story offered Church’s recollection of the incident as well as a window into a difficult recovery from injuries that included the loss of two fingers and perforation of part of the colon and part of the small intestine.

“It’s no secret to News-Journal readers that Ken Willis is an exceptional reporter with a great and distinct voice as a writer,” Editor Pat Rice said. “James Church’s near-death experience with lightning was the perfect match for Ken’s skill with language and his attention to detail. This SPJ national award for ‘Lightning: A Survivor’s Tale’ is well-deserved high praise.”

Willis, meanwhile, offered thanks to Church for sharing his story.

“No matter where you go, everybody has a story to tell. Sometimes, you find somebody with a story that’s much better than most,” Willis said. “And if you find an amazing story with the right person recounting all of the circumstances, that’s when you’ve got something. James Church’s story of survival was amazing, so frankly there wasn’t much to do but get out of the way and let it unfold.”

For a complete list of winner, visit SPJ.

Read the original report here.

Herald-Tribune’s ‘One War. Two Races.’ named as Hillman Prize finalist, wins Sigma Delta Chi award

27.04.2018 John Crouch Awards

Original text by Herald-Tribune staff. 

The Herald-Tribune’s “One War. Two Races.” series was a finalist for the 2018 Hillman Prize, which recognizes journalists “who pursue investigative reporting and deep storytelling in service of the common good.”

The project by investigative reporter Josh Salman, investigations editor Michael Braga and web developer Dak Le showed how laws dating back to the crack epidemic continue to prejudice black defendants, even as the drug crisis shifts out of minority neighborhoods. The project also revealed how blacks have been left behind as the conversation turns to treatment.

“One War. Two Races.” also recently won the Society of Professional Journalists’ national Sigma Delta Chi Award in investigative reporting.

The 2018 Hillman Prize for Newspaper Journalism — awarded by The Sidney Hillman Foundation, named for a noted American labor leader — went to USA Today Network for its series “Rigged: Forced into debt. Worked past exhaustion. Left with nothing,” which exposed the abusive and illegal working conditions suffered by 100,000 port truck drivers in Los Angles, where nearly half of all imports enter this country.

“One War” along with the Herald-Tribune’s “Bias on the Bench” project in 2016 sparked legislation requiring sweeping, new courthouse data collection. Supporters say the new law will home in on rampant racial disparities in sentencing exposed by the Herald-Tribune’s reporting. The measure will create a uniform databank containing information on arrest and bail proceedings and criminal sentencing, and will be searchable by the public through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website.

“Bias on the bench” found that judges throughout Florida sentence black defendants to harsher punishments than whites charged with the same crimes under similar circumstances.

Other Hillman winners this year were Richard Rothstein for his book “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America,” New York Times Magazine, CBS News’ “60 Minutes” and the Washington Post, Univision News/El Faro and Slate.

Judges for the Hillman Prize included Ta-Nehisi Coates, a national correspondent at The Atlantic; Jelani Cobb, a contributing writer for The New Yorker and an instructor at Columbia University; Alix Freedman, global editor, ethics and standards for Reuters; Hendrik Hertzberg, an editor and staff writer at The New Yorker; Harold Meyerson, executive editor of The American Prospect; and Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation.

Read the original report here.

Dispatch photographers named staff of the year by Ohio News Photographers Association

27.04.2018 John Crouch Awards

A full moon rises over the Columbus Dispatch neon sign in downtown Columbus on July 9, 2017. [Adam Cairns/Dispatch]

Original text by Alissa Widman Neese, The Columbus Dispatch 

The Dispatch’s photographers were recently named the photography staff of the year for large-market newspapers at the Ohio News Photographers Association’s annual convention.

In total, Dispatch photographers received 30 awards, including nine first-place honors in 19 categories, for work completed in 2017.

Joshua Bickel was named photographer of the year. He also placed first in the portrait personality category.

Kyle Robertson was named sports photographer of the year and clip photographer of the year through points accumulated in the association’s monthly clip contest. Robertson finished second for photographer of the year. He also received first place in the sports action and sports picture story categories.

Courtney Hergesheimer won first place for sports video, second and third place for news video and third place for feature video.

Jonathan Quilter came in first for product illustration, a category the Dispatch swept. Eric Albrecht came in second and Fred Squillante in third. Quilter and Albrecht also received second-place awards for feature picture story and pictorial, respectively.

Additional photographers receiving awards: Barbara Perenic, third place for sports photographer of the year and clip photographer of the year, second place for sports action; Adam Cairns, third place for general news; and Squillante, third place for sports feature.

The staff also raked in eight awards of excellence in several categories.

Lorrie Cecil, a photographer with Dispatch-owned ThisWeek Newspapers, finished second in photographer of the year for small-market newspapers and received an award of excellence for sports feature.

Former Dispatch intern Emma Howells, an Ohio University student, placed third for student photographer of the year and received two other awards.

Fifty-four visual journalists submitted 749 entries in the 67th annual contest.

To view all of the winning photographs, visit

Read the original report here.

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