A family-owned media group that owns several local newspapers on metro Atlanta’s Northside announced over the weekend it is acquiring Dunwoody’s recently shuttered paper.
The Crier announced on April 9 that it was shutting down after 46 years, due in part to declining advertising revenues and a shrinking staff. Appen Media Group, which owns four weekly newspapers in North Fulton and Forsyth counties, announced April 19 it is acquiring The Crier. It’s the first newspaper that Appen Media has bought, Hans Appen, the company’s general manager, said in an interview.
“We’re looking forward to being a part of the Dunwoody community. We’re going to be learning more about what makes it tick as we go,” he said.
The details of the sale were not released.
Currently, Appen Media owns the Alpharetta-Roswell Herald, Forsyth Herald, Johns Creek Herald and Milton Herald, as well as the monthly Northside Woman magazine and a quarterly community guide.
“Print newspapers are still the heart and soul of what we do,” Appen said.
The company plans to continue distributing The Crier weekly to 18,000 households. With the latest acquisition, Appen Media will have a distribution of 93,000.
“Our veteran reporters will continue their work, current Crier Publisher Dick Williams said in a statement.
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Appen said he would like to continue expanding the company’s reach in metro Atlanta, but the company is not currently eyeing any other markets. The family-owned business has been around for more than 30 years.
“It's kind of the opposite of the trend we’re seeing,” Appen said, referencing the high number of local newspapers that have been bought up by national investment companies in recent years.
More than a third of all newspapers have changed ownership over the last decade, according to research from the University of North Carolina last year. Even more troubling, almost 1,800 local newspapers have closed since 2004.
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