Charles Rees, Ex-Owner of ‘IHT,’ 40 Community Newspapers, Dies

The New York Times reported today that Charles Rees, the former president of the Whitney Communications Corporation, died after complications from abdominal surgery on July 12. He was 84.

At one point in time, the Times noted, Whitney Communications owned a third of The International Herald Tribune, as well as many magazines, newspapers, and cable television stations.

Rees was born in 1922 in Lawrenceville, N.J. to a banker named Albert Gallagher Rees and his wife Helen. He graduated from Princeton after serving in World War II.

Thereafter, Rees devoted his life to the newspaper industry. Throughout the course of thirty years, he became involved with businesses founded by John Hay Whitney, who was the last publisher of The New York Herald Tribune before it went out of business in 1966. Rees was eventually named head of Whitney Communications in 1981.

Through Rees? management from 1981 to 1985, Whitney Communications not only took over a third of The International Herald Tribune, but also acquired more than a dozen magazines, trade publications, 40 community newspapers, cable television systems, and 10 percent of Cablecom, a television group with nearly 350,000 subscribers.

In 1991, The International Tribune was sold to The New York Times and The Washington Post; the former of which now owns the publication entirely.

Rees is survived by four daughters, a brother, five grandchildren, and Nancy Thomas Rees — his wife of 51 years.

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