Matagorda Advocate sold to competitor, to close immediately

Nov. 7, 2012 at 5:07 a.m.
Updated Nov. 8, 2012 at 5:08 a.m.

The Matagorda Advocate was sold Wednesday to Southern Newspapers, the parent company of the Bay City Tribune, company officials announced.

The sale takes effect immediately, Victoria Advocate publisher Dan Easton said. The Matagorda newspaper, a weekly published on Thursdays, has been owned and operated in Bay City by the Victoria Advocate for 16 years. The Tribune publishes Wednesdays and Sundays.

"We are pleased to be able to make this arrangement with another good newspaper company," Easton said.

Southern has community newspapers in the Southeast and Southwest, including the Brazosport Facts, the Galveston County Daily News and the Baytown Sun.

Southern's prominence in the region helped the deal make sense, Easton said.

"It's a rarity these days to have two newspapers serve a small community," Easton said. "We value the relationships we've formed in Matagorda County and look forward to continuing to provide the Victoria Advocate as the daily newspaper there."

Southern's Bay City Tribune has served Matagorda County since 1845.

The Victoria Advocate, founded in 1846, is the state's second-oldest daily newspaper.

Dolph Tillotson, Southern executive vice president, said the company was "pleased that our colleagues at the Victoria Advocate have chosen our company to buy the Matagorda Advocate. We believe this transaction helps to ensure that there will be a strong and independent local newspaper in Bay City and Matagorda County for many years to come."

Angie Pagel, who became publisher of The Bay City Tribune in May, said the company plans to merge the newspaper products, retaining the best features of both under The Tribune title.

Easton said the sale would not affect the operations of the Victoria Advocate. Its sister company, Texas Community Media, recently purchased the Longview News-Journal, the Marshall Messenger and the Panola Watchman in East Texas.

"Our company is in a growth mode," Easton said.



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