Loudoun’s longest-running newspaper is changing hands.
Peter Arundel, the owner of The Virginia News Group and publisher of the Loudoun Times-Mirror, announced this week that an agreement has been reached with The Ogden Newspapers Inc., to purchase publishing assets of The Virginia News Group LLC, including the Times-Mirror, Loudouner magazine, and associated websites.
Although the paper itself is two centuries old, it has been a part of the Arundel family since 1963. That’s when Arthur “Nick” Arundel purchased the newspaper at auction, according to the press release posted on the Times-Mirror’s website. Peter Arundel, Nick Arundel’s son who has worked in the media business for more than 30 years, purchased the Times-Mirror from his family in 2015 after his father’s death. Arundel will remain publisher following the close of the sale.
Arundel said he has been talking to Ogden for about a year. The sale, he said, will allow for additional resources for the Times-Mirror to “invest in new forms of revenue generation such as digital marketing and events and other things to be determined.”
“In order for me to accelerate growth in those disciplines, we needed not only the resources Ogden brings to the table but also their expertise and best practices,” he said.
It’s been a busy first half of the year for Ogden, which recently purchased The Winchester Star, another long-running family-owned operation. Ogden itself is a family-owned newspaper group with 46 daily and numerous weekly newspapers published in 16 states. Cameron Nutting Williams, Ogden’s regional publisher for the Mid-Atlantic area, said the company is attracted to the Northern Virginia market. She pointed to the strong readership and community support in the area as qualities for Ogden in acquiring the Times-Mirror.
The Winchester Star underwent major staff changes, including layoffs, after Ogden Newspapers purchased it in March. But both Arundel and Williams said there are no major changes planned to staffing at the Times-Mirror, and office operations are planned to continue at the Leesburg Junction building. Before the acquisition was made public Monday, Times-Mirror announced last week that its editor-in-chief Dale Peskin would be leaving to pursue other projects and that Trevor Baratko would be promoted from managing editor to editor-in-chief. The newspaper’s printing operations will also be moved, from Fredericksburg to Ogden’s Frederick News Post press in Maryland.
Williams said that’s one of the biggest changes. “It’s a very clean acquisition.”
The company was founded in 1890 when H.C. Ogden started publishing the Wheeling News. Since then, Ogden Newspapers has grown under the stewardship of the Nutting family.
“We still believe very strongly in the power of printed newspapers and our family continues to be willing to invest in newspapers that provide a vital service to their readers and advertisers,” Ogden Newspapers CEO Bob Nutting stated. “Loudoun County is a thriving area with important news and readers that deserve a dedicated local newspaper. We are happy to be able to play a part in ensuring the future of the Loudoun Times-Mirror.”
In addition to its media portfolio, the Nutting family owns Seven Springs Mountain Resort and Hidden Valley Ski Resort in Pennsylvania and is the majority owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates Major League Baseball franchise. The company is based in Wheeling, WV.