The Indiana Gazette, in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, has been acquired by Sample News Group.
Sample News Group owns The Times Argus and Rutland Herald. The company purchased the two Vermont newspapers from Reade Brower, of Maine, and Chip Harris, of New Hampshire, in 2018.
The Sample News Group operates the Herald and Times Argus under the umbrella company Brunswick Publishing, LLC.
Its publisher and management team are local to Vermont, and have ties to the newspapers dating back to its family ownership under both Robert and John Mitchell for decades.
Mike Donnelly, former publisher of the Gazette, announced Monday that the Indiana newspaper has been sold to Sample News Group, based in Erie County.
Terms of the transaction, which were effective last Friday, have not been disclosed.
Sample News Group, whose CEO is George “Scoop” Sample, owns more than 75 publications.
“Our family newspaper has had the privilege of being invited into the homes throughout Indiana County for the last 130 years,” said Donnelly. “Over those years, we kept our readers informed of what was going on in our communities. Through the great efforts of our employees we had over these many years, we never missed a day of delivering the news and advertising that our readers enjoyed. I am going to miss being a part of that process. ... we have reached a time when being a single-point, family-owned, independent newspaper was not a viable option moving forward.
The sale of the Gazette does not affect operations at Gazette Printers, which will continue under the ownership of Indiana Printing & Publishing.
“(Scoop) comes from another Pennsylvania newspaper family. I have known Scoop for years,” Donnelly said, “and he understands the importance of what good the newspaper can do for the communities that they serve. The Indiana Gazette will be in good hands.”
“Sample News Group is thrilled and honored to be selected to carry on the storied Donnelly legacy at The Indiana Gazette,” said Sample. “We have known the Donnellys since the early 1970s and, while often competitors, Joe and Lucy, and now Mike, never hesitated to work together.”
Sample News Group newspapers in Pennsylvania include The Bedford Gazette, Bedford; The Daily News, Huntingdon; The Gettysburg Times, Gettysburg; The News Item, Shamokin; The Review, Towanda; The Latrobe Bulletin, Latrobe; Morning Times, Sayre; Corry Journal, Corry; Standard Journal, Milton; The Daily Herald, Tyrone; and The Leader Times, Kittanning.
The roots of the Gazette can be traced to 1890, but it was a century ago, in 1911, that R. Nelson Ray, a successful businessman and former teacher in Indiana County and the Midwest, purchased the Indiana Printing & Publishing Co. after his eldest son, R. Hastie Ray, asked his father to buy a newspaper for him.
The Gazette has been named Newspaper of the Year three times in past several years.