The paper is being acquired by M. Roberts Media, a family-owned newspaper group that operates the Longview News-Journal, Marshall News Messenger, Panola Watchman and the Victoria Advocate in Texas. The new ownership takes effect Dec. 1.
Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented T.B. Butler Publishing Company in the transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“To see an ownership transition to another family and community-minded operator is a great thing for our staff and customers,” said Nelson Clyde, publisher of the Tyler Morning Telegraph.
The Tyler Morning Telegraph has been in publication since 1929, but the company traces its roots to 1877, when two brothers, L. M. Green and J. P. Green, established the weekly Courier, which was converted to a daily newspaper in 1882. A public stock subscription in 1906 helped pave the way for the consolidation of the Daily Courier and another local newspaper, the Weekly Times, creating The Tyler Courier-Times, Tyler’s longtime afternoon newspaper.
In 1910, after a fire destroyed the production facility, Tyler attorney and businessman T.B. Butler acquired the newspaper. That began family ownership that has seen news coverage of two world wars, man’s first walk on the moon, and 19 U.S. presidents.
“The ability to have had family ownership for 108 years is something our family has counted as a tremendous privilege and it’s a responsibility we’ve taken seriously,” Clyde said.
The sale is a reflection of the economic realities of operating a single-site newspaper property, Clyde said. In the past decade, more and more news organizations nationwide have consolidated to operate with numerous properties, allowing for cost efficiencies.
Clyde said the cornerstone of the newspaper’s operation always has been the people, many of whom dedicated their entire careers to the company. The longest-tenured employee worked at the paper almost 70 years, he said, with countless others serving more than 50 years.
“This sale gives the product a path forward,” Clyde said. “We wish the M. Roberts Media family the best as they join this wonderful community.”