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A new day is dawning in the newspaper industry, and the new owners of News-Gazette Media — Champaign Multi Media Group — will bring fresh ideas, improved technology and a sharp focus to a great media market.

“Champaign-Urbana is the most exciting market in the state of Illinois. With a thriving business community, first-class university and an undercurrent of entrepreneurial success, Champaign-Urbana will benefit from strong, innovative media leadership,” said Paul Barrett, executive vice president and publisher of Champaign Multi Media Group. “We will leverage the largest commercial website in the state outside of Chicago for our advertisers, bringing our formula for success in other markets to this region.”

The Champaign-Urbana media market has had challenges through the years.

“The Community Media Group and News-Gazette partnership provides an enhanced voice to receive locally focused print, radio and digital communications across a variety of important topics,” First Busey CEO Van Dukeman said. “Continued access to this relevant, high-quality information supports the foundation of a vibrant and well-informed community.”

Said Sue Grey, president and CEO of the United Way of Champaign County: “Local media strengthens our community. When we see our neighbors and friends celebrated on the front page for an award or accomplishment, hear from our local government officials on the radio, or go on the website and read a story about a local charity that needs a little more support — all of these things bring us closer together and can unite us as one community.

“A county of our size needs a strong local media presence; we have a lot going on here in our corner of the world. They help us tell our story of our neighbors in need, and that’s critical in our efforts to garner support and resources to help out.”

“A lot of people have worked very hard to bring this deal to fruition, including the News-Gazette Board of Directors, Publisher John Reed and the rest of the News-Gazette team,” Barrett said. “It has been a labor of love as we’ve moved forward to ensure the future success of this fine company.

“No one likes dramatic change; working through the difficult bankruptcy process, we want to thank all of the employees — past and present — of the News-Gazette companies who have helped us with this difficult transition. I look forward to working with this remarkable team that we have assembled.”

“We should all be very grateful that The News-Gazette was diligent enough to identify a new owner that shares the mission of ‘local community,’” said Joan M. Dixon, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois. “Thank you, News-Gazette Media Corporation, and welcome, Community Media Group, to a community that values our local media.”

Changes on Mondays

Beginning this week, The News-Gazette will no longer publish a Monday edition.

“Eliminating Mondays helps us reduce costs and get the paper back on solid footing,” Barrett said. “We appreciate the incredible support of our readers as we move forward.”

Content will instead be funneled to The News-Gazette’s award-winning website, news-gazette.com.

“While we won’t have a Monday print edition, we will have all of Sunday’s news online, just as we do today,” said Jim Rossow, vice president of news.

‘On a solid trajectory’

For years, one of the biggest challenges facing the newspaper industry has been rural delivery. CMG will leverage our partnership with the U.S. Postal Service to solve that problem in our rural distribution areas.

Those areas outside of the Champaign-Urbana area will receive their daily paper with their daily mail. Outlying rural subscribers will now receive their Sunday package of Sports, Entertainment, Features and News on Saturday in their mail. They will no longer receive a Sunday edition. On Mondays, they will receive a weekend summary of the news in the mail.

Those in the urban Champaign-Urbana area will receive their papers as before. Again, there will be no Monday edition in those areas and our website will continue to bring all the latest in News, Sports and Entertainment.

The acquisition team with CMG has worked hard to bring the latest, state-of-the-art systems and best practices to make The News-Gazette once again financially viable while preserving the award-winning quality that has served this community for over 100 years.

“We intend to be good neighbors, good partners and good stewards,” Barrett said. “With the reception we’ve received so far, The News-Gazette and our family of great radio stations will be on a solid trajectory.”