‘East Oregonian’ Parent Buying Twice-Weekly ‘Hermiston Herald’

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By: E&P Staff

East Oregonian Publishing Co. said Wednesday it is purchasing the twice-weekly Hermiston (Ore.) Herald from Western Communications Inc.

No terms were disclosed in the transaction, which is expected to close by May 1.

Family-owned East Oregonian Publishing Co. (EOPC) owns the East Oregonian in Pendleton and six other papers.

“We approached the folks at the EOPC because they, like WesCom, are a family-owned media company with a rich tradition of quality and integrity,” Betsy McCool, chairwoman of Bend, Ore.-based Western Communications, said in a statement. “We’re confident the citizens of Umatilla County will benefit from this new ownership arrangement.”

The first issue of the 3,100-paid circulation Herald under new ownership will appear May 2.

John S. Perry, EOPC’s chief operating officer, said the East Oregonian will remain the daily newspaper for Pendleton, Hermiston and other surrounding communities in northeastern Oregon. The Herald, Perry said, “will continue to provide Hermiston with more distinctively local” news, information and advertising.

“Together, these two newspapers will allow more advertisers to reach more households in these growing markets than any other media,” Perry said.

EOPC is changing the publishing days and delivery method of the Herald, which will be mailed and published on Wednesdays and Fridays. Independent contractors now deliver the Herald on Tuesdays and Fridays.

“The change will provide more consistent delivery service for readers and advertisers,” Perry said. “It also will allow us to focus our efforts on improving news content and expanding the Herald Web site.”

In its announcement, EOPC said the “new owners pledge The Hermiston Herald and East Oregonian will remain separate newspapers, each with an independent editorial voice.”

Each newspaper will have its own news staff covering Hermiston, EOPC said.
The Hermiston Herald was founded in 1906 by Horace Greeley Newport and William Skinner. Western Communications purchased the paper in 1992.

In addition to the East Oregonian, Salem, Ore-based EOPC publishes The Daily Astorian in Astoria; the Wallowa County Chieftain in Enterprise; the Blue Mountain Eagle in John Day; the North Coast Citizen in Manzanita; and the Chinook Observer in Long Beach, Wash.

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