Northern Virginia Daily News Sold

Four months after announcing that The Northern Virginia Daily was for sale, Editor John Horan introduced its prospective new owners to employees Friday morning. The Ogden Newspapers Inc., based in Wheeling, W.Va., has an agreement in principle to buy the paper. Ogden President and CEO Robert M. “Bob” Nutting told the paper’s staff that while the company owns 40 newspapers, “we don’t think of ourselves as a chain of newspapers.” “[Chain] feels very structured and corporate to me, and probably doesn’t reflect who we think we are as a family because we really do think of ourselves as a family that loves newspapers,” he said. Nutting’s great-grandfather, H.C. Ogden, founded the company in 1890. The company now owns newspapers in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, Florida and Hawaii. Among its papers are The Journal in Martinsburg, W.Va., and the Shepherdstown Chronicle. Additionally, Nutting is the chairman and principal owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates and chairman of Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania, he said. Current Daily owners Pat and Dee Keister announced the sale on Oct. 7. Pat Keister, 84, is the son of E.E. Keister, who started the newspaper in September 1932. The Keisters were represented by W.B. Grimes and Co., a mergers and acquisitions firm in Gaithersburg, Md. “We are here because we believe in the future of newspapers,” Nutting said. “You all have published a very good newspaper for a long period of time. We’re very pleased, very pleased to be here.” He said he was impressed with the number of awards the Daily has received from the Virginia Press Association, including the “News Sweepstakes” award for each of the past 11 years. “We are committed to the printed newspaper and know newspapers continue to be the best source for news and advertising in every community we serve,” Nutting said. “We are also well positioned for the growth of online news and advertising. I am pleased to see that is a valuable, relevant and robust information source for this region.” The website averages nearly 180,000 unique visitors and more than a million page views per month, he pointed out.

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