Greenville Daily News to be sold
View Newspaper Group and Michigan Web Press, both owned by Rick Burrough, have agreed to acquire the Greenville (Mich.) Daily News and affiliated Stafford Printing from the Stafford family.
Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, N.M., represented the Stafford family in the transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 2003 by Rick Burrough, View Newspaper Group will now include 19 community newspapers, covering Lapeer, Sanilac, Huron, Saginaw, Shiawassee, Genesee, Oakland, Livingston, Montcalm and Ionia counties. The Daily News will be the group's first daily newspaper.
Michigan Web Press, founded in 1979 and acquired by Burrough in 1999, serves more than 60 individual newspaper and publishing companies, printing more than 120 daily, weekly and monthly newspaper and periodical titles.
"We are excited to grow both our newspaper company and our printing company with the addition of the Daily News and Stafford Printing," Burrough said. "The Stafford family is well-known and respected in the newspaper publishing and printing business. We are pleased to welcome the Daily News into our family of papers and happy to report that Julie Stafford has agreed to stay on as publisher in Greenville. Retaining Julie was a key element of this deal coming together."
The Daily News, which has been in the Stafford family since 1951, has a circulation of about 4,500 and is published six days a week. The paper covers more than 1,000 square miles of Montcalm, Ionia and parts of Kent counties. For the past four years in a row, the Daily News has won Newspaper of the Year among Class D newspapers in the annual Michigan Press Association Better Newspaper Contest. The paper also earned first place for General Excellence for the second year in a row in its class the 2018 Michigan Associated Press Media Editors newspaper competition.
In addition to its daily, the Daily News also publishes The Gazette, which is a free weekly newspaper that covers much of the eastern part of Montcalm County.
Printing has been a major part of the Stafford family's legacy, as well. In the 1960s, John Stafford started a heat-set offset web commercial print company called Printco, which was sold and is today Quad Graphics. With an expanding list of regular newspaper print customers, John Stafford eventually moved his presses from the building they shared with the Daily News to its own production facility in Greenville, where it then began to grow.
Rob Stafford, who joined the company in 1990, plans to pursue other interests. Julie Stafford, who became publisher of The Daily News in 2012, said while there are many emotions that come with ending a 68-year family ownership of the paper, there also are a lot of exciting opportunities this new direction offers.
"I am really grateful in this day and age to have found what I consider to be a fantastic partnership of like-minds dedicated not only to local journalism but also folks who have a print-first way of thinking," she said. "We gain an extended family of talented journalists, marketing minds and print experts who we can partner with to expand and improve what we do. Our readers will continue to see a daily focus on coverage of the news happening in our area."
With the addition of the Daily News and Stafford Printing, View Newspaper Group and Michigan Web now become one of the largest Michigan-owned and operated newspaper groups and commercial printers.