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 AJR  The Beat

From AJR,   June 1999  issue

It's a Family Affair   

Flipping the standard script of big chains devouring little independent papers, the Boca Raton News finds local owners for the first time in 35 years.


By Lori Robertson
Lori Robertson (robertson.lori@gmail.com), a former AJR managing editor, is a senior contributing writer for the magazine.      


Flipping the standard script of big chains devouring little independent papers, the Boca Raton News finds local owners for the first time in 35 years. A group of four investors, led by Publisher Michael Martin , bought the 13,480-circulation South Florida daily in April from Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. (see "Selling the Small-town Daily," May). The Birmingham, Alabama-based chain of some 225 papers is headed by Ralph Martin , who had installed his brother as publisher upon purchasing the News in December 1997 from Knight Ridder. When CNHI was unable to obtain another key property as part of its cluster strategy, it put the News on the market. Buying it fit majority owner Michael Martin's strategy "because I have fallen in love with this community and always wanted to have my own company."