More chain-owned news organizations are returning to local ownership

“It’s definitely safe to say that there is a trend of some newspapers returning to local ownership,” April said. “… It made sense for these large newspaper companies to build when they did, but now it’s making sense for them to peel off these papers and put them in the hands of people who can really operate them in this day and age.”

In some ways, large chains can be beneficial for local news consumers. They often bring website expertise, technical support and consistent business practices. And they may have a greater ability to recruit talent.

But local owners’ strong presence in the community may be more important, according to Penny Abernathy, creator of the influential “news deserts” reports and visiting professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.

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