The owners of The New Britain Herald and The Bristol Press have agreed to buy The Chronicle of Willimantic. The transaction is expected to be finalized May 1. Patrice Crosbie, president and publisher of The Chronicle Printing Co., and Michael Schroeder, editor and publisher of the Press and Herald, announced the deal to their staffs Tuesday. The Chronicle and its commercial publishing operation will be owned and operated by Chronicle Media LLC, a new company formed for the sale.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is representing The Chronicle Printing Co. in the sale.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity of continuing the legacy of the Crosbie family in serving Willimantic and the towns around it,” said Michael Schroeder, president of Chronicle Media and the incoming publisher of The Chronicle. “We are committed to providing this area with solid journalism and community service.”
Central Connecticut Communications has owned the Bristol and New Britain papers for eight years, and through CCC Media LLC, also publishes The Block Island Times and associated websites in Rhode Island. “We are looking forward to getting involved in a new part of the state, listening to its citizens and growing in print and online,” Schroeder said.
The Chronicle recently celebrated its 140th anniversary. The paper was started in 1877 with John MacDonald as its first publisher. Four generations followed with his son George A. Bartlett, grandson G. Donald Bartlett, great granddaughter Lucy Bartlett Crosbie and great-great grandson Kevin Bartlett Crosbie.
The Chronicle has been owned by the same family for the longest time of any newspaper in New England. Current publisher Patrice Crosbie, widow of Kevin Crosbie, stated: “It has been the utmost honor and privilege to continue the heritage of our family. To be welcomed into the homes of our community on a daily basis is the ultimate compliment. The Crosbie family will forever be grateful to everyone for supporting the paper for five generations. It is with heavy heart that we turn the stewardship over to its new owners. But the time has come, and our hope is great, that the Chronicle will continue to be cared for and sustained for many generations to come.”