Fenice Community Media acquires The Katy Times
The Katy Times is continuing to publish, thanks to a deal negotiated between Fenice Community Media and Hartman Newspapers, Inc.
The announcement was made July 23 by Fenice Community Media Founder and Chairwoman Brandi Chionsini.
Hartman Newspapers Inc., which has owned the Times since 1973, announced earlier in July that it planned to cease publishing the print edition of the newspaper. Hartman has sold its interest in The Katy Times to Chionsini Children Ltd. Chionsini Children is managed by Cedar Park-based Fenice Community Media.
"We are pleased to be able to continue publishing The Katy Times. The outpouring of support for the newspaper from the community since the announcement earlier this month was a major factor in us approaching (HNI) President Bill Hartman to discuss the possibility of a sale," Fenice Community Media CEO Brandi Chionsini said.
The newspaper has published continually for more than 100 years, starting out as The Brookshire Times before eventually moving to Katy in the 1950s. After several name changes, the paper formally became The Katy Times in 1984.
Fenice Community Media President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Coleman said Karen Lopez, who has published the group's property in Sealy since 2014, will assume the role of publisher of the Katy Times.
"Katy is a great community and it deserves to have the chance to see its local newspaper continue publishing," Coleman said. "Karen is an ideal choice for publisher because she already has strong ties in the community, and she believes in The Katy Times as much as Brandi and I do."
"Our property in Cedar Park shares some similarities with Katy, and we believe many of the innovations we've seen lead to success there will be successful in Katy as well."
Coleman said plans for the newspaper include improving and expanding sports coverage, adding more digital advertising options for businesses and improving focus on in-depth and investigative reporting.
The sale is expected to close by Aug. 31, but the companies have negotiated an arrangement that allows Fenice to begin operating The Katy Times and its digital properties as well as Katy Today magazine immediately.
Fenice Community Media publishes four community weekly newspapers, two suburban weekly newspapers, seven websites and a host of other print and digital publications across Texas.