Daily Gazette acquires The Leader-Herald

GLOVERSVILLE — The Ogden Newspapers, Inc., has accepted an offer from The Daily Gazette of Schenectady to purchase The Leader-Herald effective Aug. 1.

The announcement was made to Leader-Herald employees today.

The Daily Gazette will acquire The Leader-Herald name, its subscriber and advertiser lists, and the newspaper’s website. The transaction did not include the newspaper’s real estate, production equipment or commercial printing accounts. The commercial printing will continue on the newspaper’s presses for the immediate future.

“The Daily Gazette, which has established a strong group of newspapers in this region, has pursued the acquisition of The Leader-Herald for many months,” Ogden Newspaper regional publisher Charles Jarvis told the employees. “The Leader-Herald has been a strong newspaper and a vibrant commercial printing operation for Ogden Newspapers since 1989 so, obviously, it was a very difficult decision to sell. We believe, however, allowing The Leader-Herald to become part of a strong and respected regional group of papers makes a lot of sense for the long-term health of the newspaper.”

John D’Augustine, publisher of The Daily Gazette, said he was pleased to be able to add The Leader-Herald to The Daily Gazette’s growing number of media companies in the region.

“First and foremost, the acquisition of The Leader-Herald means the residents of Gloversville and the surrounding areas will continue to have access to their hometown newspaper with local reporters covering local news,” DeAugustine said in a prepared news release. “The Leader-Herald will be fully supported by the Gazette’s robust journalistic, advertising and logistical resources while remaining an independent newspaper.”

DeAugustine added, “The acquisition will allow the Gazette to enhance The Leader-Herald’s offerings by leveraging the Gazette’s resources, such as advertising services, the latest media technology, and content assets. In addition, it will create an opportunity for growth by eliminating certain fixed costs and allowing The Leader-Herald to offer a more robust news platform along with broader market opportunities and greater resources to its advertising customers.”

Elizabeth “Betsie” Hume Lind, The Daily Gazette’s board chairwoman, said, “As a family-owned newspaper, it gives everyone at the Gazette great pride knowing that we are continuing the mission and legacy of another family-owned newspaper like The Leader-Herald. Local newspapers help form the foundation of our communities, so making sure we preserve and enhance the journalistic offerings of The Leader-Herald for future generations is vitally important to us.”

The Leader-Herald, which serves the greater Gloversville region including Fulton, Hamilton and Montgomery counties, will continue to focus on local news using local reporters and photographers who have been covering things such as high school sports and area schools for decades.

The Daily Gazette news release said one of the most noticeable changes that will result from the new ownership will be a transition from a paper that is delivered in the afternoon to one that is delivered in the morning. Readers will also notice more coverage of local businesses, the area’s renowned tourism industry, workforce issues, education and the arts.

Today, Jarvis praised and thanked the many excellent managers and employees who have served The Leader-Herald over the years.

“Many excellent people have passed through The Leader Herald, particularly former publisher Joe Bradley who formulated and tested here many technological innovations that have been implemented throughout our other newspapers. And former publisher Pat Beck who gave great service to The Leader-Herald and Gloversville, Johnstown and Fulton County for many years. And Jim Cornell who gave his career to managing the accounting department with critical input into the entire operation,” he said.

“We have been blessed throughout the years by having loyal, dedicated employees and contractors who have accomplished the job of producing and delivering a really good daily newspaper to this community. We sincerely thank all of you for your service.”

He credited current publisher Trevor Evans with leading The Leader-Herald through what probably was the most difficult year in the last 100 years of newspapering, the year of the pandemic in 2020. Evans will continue leading the Ogden presence in Gloversville and oversee the sale of some or all of the real estate holdings.

By Patricia Older