By: E&P Staff
Art Wible — whose 46-year newspaper career included stints at the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, and running The Copley Press Inc.’s former cluster in Illinois — announced his retirement Friday as Copley’s sale of the Daily Breeze in Torrance, Calif., closed.
“While I had hoped to retire with the Copley flag still waving high on Torrance Boulevard, these challenging times called for difficult decisions to find a new partner or owner with the revenue base to guarantee a long-term future in this competitive media environment,” Wible said in a memo to employees. He had been publisher of the paper for the past six years.
In his time in Southern California, Wible led the expansion of Copley Los Angeles Newspapers with the acquisitions of the Palos Verdes Peninsula News, The Beach Reporter, and the launch of a publication in San Pedro.
In a complex transaction that mirrored this summer’s sale and management deal for the San Jose Mercury News and other papers in Northern California, Hearst is buying the Daily Breeze plus the Peninsula News, The Beach Reporter, and More San Pedro — and turning operation of the papers over to Denver-based MediaNews Group Inc. In the Northern California deal, Hearst is turning over ownership of the papers to MediaNews in exchange for a stake in its properties outside of the Bay Area.
The Copley deal ends 78 years of ownership by the family chain.
MediaNews has a substantial presence in Southern California. Its Los Angeles Newspaper Group includes the Los Angeles Daily News, and Long Beach Press-Telegram plus dailies in Pasadena, Whittier, San Bernardino and elsewhere.
A story on the Daily Breeze’s Web site said a new publisher is expected to be announced Friday.
Wible, 69, said he will remain on the Copley board.