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Ogden Newspapers buys Byrd family’s cluster of Virginia papers

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Ogden Newspapers buys Byrd family’s cluster of Virginia papers

The Nutting family-owned Ogden Newspapers has acquired the publications, including two Virginia dailies, of family-owned Byrd Newspapers.

Included in the sale are the daily The Winchester Star and its website, the Daily News-Record of Harrisonburg and its associated website. Other publications included are the Page News & Courier, The Warren Sentinel, The Shenandoah Valley-Herald, The Valley Banner and Skyline publications.

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, N.M., represented the Byrd family in the transaction. Terms of the sale not disclosed.

“My family is extremely proud to become the successor publisher of the Byrd Newspapers,” Ogden Chief Executive Officer Robert M. Nutting said. “We look forward to carrying on the long tradition of the Byrd family publishing great community newspapers serving Winchester, Harrisonburg and the surrounding region.”

Byrd newspapers Chairman and Publisher Thomas T. Byrd said, “To be grateful for the opportunity to be the fourth generation of the Byrd family to contribute to publishing quality local newspapers is an understatement. To have the opportunity for a 42-year professional partnership with my father was so special and valued. To have the opportunity for a six-year professional partnership with my son has been so special and valued.”

The Byrd family has been in the publishing business in the Shenandoah Valley since 1897. Five generations of the Byrd family have been involved in the management of the business.

Ogden Newspapers has similar longevity as a family owned and managed business, having been founded by H.C. Ogden in 1890 when he began publishing the Wheeling (W.Va.) News.

A member of the family’s fifth generation, Cameron Nutting Williams, will serve as regional publisher, managing the acquired Byrd Newspapers publications as well as other Ogden properties in the region including the Frederick (Md.) News Post, The Northern Virginia Daily of Strasburg and The Journal in Martinsburg, W.Va.

The history of transactions between the Ogden and Byrd families goes back to 1912 when Harry F. Byrd Sr. sold the Martinsburg Journal, which he founded in 1907, to Ogden Newspapers.

“It’s remarkable that the Byrd family and its descendants and our family both have been publishing newspapers for roughly 130 years,” Nutting said. “For more than a century, the Byrds have been making a huge contribution to the publishing industry. We look forward to carrying on their mission here.”

Ogden, headquartered in Wheeling, also publishes newspapers in Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Utah.