Ballantine was the granddaughter of Gardner Cowles Sr., who bought The Des Moines Register in 1903. Her father, John Cowles Sr., together with his father and brother, bought the Minneapolis Star in 1935. As a board member, she would later participate in the difficult family decision to sell the Register to Gannett Co.
Ballantine got into the newspaper business herself in 1952 when she and her second husband, Arthur A. Ballantine Jr., bought the Durango Herald-Democrat and its sibling weekly, the DurangoNews. They were immediately merged into The Durango Herald-News. The paper was renamed The Durango Herald, according to an obituary in the paper by Ann Butler.
The family-owned company bought the Cortez Journal and Mancos Times in 1999, and the Dolores Star in 2000.
"She is widely thought of in the news industry as the model of a local newspaper publisher," for Associated Press President and CEO Lou Boccardi told the Herald in an interview. "She was a local owner with high standards and a high sense of commitment."
By: E&P Staff A celebration of the life of Morley Cowles Ballantine, the longtime chairman and editor of The Durango (Colo.) Herald, will be held Friday at 2 p.m. at Fort Lewis College in Durango. Ballantine died of respiratory failure Saturday at age 84 in her Durango home.