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Is the Frankfort, Kentucky State Journal Newspaper for Sale?

Is the Frankfort State Journal for sale?

The answer is, “Yes it is but not today.” The reason this question has become public is the internal decisions by publisher, Ann Dix Maenza, in late 2013 to change basic operations for the newspaper.

Maenza, heir to the Dix family control of the Frankfort State Journal, stopped printing operations at their long time headquarters. Printing of the daily, 8,700 circulation newspaper, was moved to the Louisville based Courier-Journal. Gannett Company is now the parent company that owns the Courier-Journal.

Citing the new realities of modern newspaper publishing, Maenza explained in a December 29, 2013 article that “the decision was made after years of costly repairs to the paper’s press and a sharp decline in the presses ability to produce a high quality product.”

The move to the Courier-Journal also was an attempt to redesign the physical footprint for the Frankfort State Journal. By using the Gannett Co. printing presses, the actual size of the State Journal could be reduced about 18% in paper stock.

One of the reasons behind the speculation of the paper being “on the market” was the retirement of two long term employees. Editor Carl West and Opinion editor Ron Herron retired in 2013.

Cutting production costs and high staff costs can make the balance sheet for the newspaper look very good. If the Dix family decides that their future may not be best served by the current newspaper dynamics, then this is the time to be “acquired” by a big brother like the Gannett Co.

In the end, it is all about money. The question for the Dix family is - when does publishing the Frankfort State Journal continue to be profitable or at what point do they decide to take the money and retire?


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