The new owner of the Bristol Press and New Britain Herald says he wants to give the two communities an opportunity to save their papers. Veteran newspaperman Michael Schroeder has struck a deal to buy the Press and Herald from the Journal Register Company.
Long Island resident Michael Schroeder made his first public appearance as new owner of the papers Wednesday – he says he read about their plight in the New York Times:
"I had never been to Bristol, I had never been to New Britain more than ten days ago. I came to look at the papers, look at the town, and immediately the mayors came on board. They were ready to drop their schedules to put together a meeting that basically sealed the deal in my mind."
Fifty-year-old Schroeder has long experience in the business – culminating in 15 years at Long Island’s Newsday, and some niche magazine publishing, including the free commuter paper BostonNOW. He comes to the Connecticut papers at a challenging time for the industry, but says he’s ready to adapt them for the future.
"We are going to be a multi-media company. We want to educate inform and entertain these communities. No matter whether they want to pick it up in the morning, or they want to log onto it, or they want to pick it up on their cellphone down the line."
The two papers, and several weeklies in Connecticut were threatened with closure by their current owner, Pennsylvania based Journal Register Company – the deal comes less than two weeks before they were due to be shuttered. Schroeder is backed by a US based investor, but declined to name the source of his cash. He plans to move to central Connecticut and says he’s looking forward to his future as a "gentleman publisher".