Signal, Ledger are merged into one
There will be only one paper in Baldwin City this week. The Baldwin Ledger has been merged with the Baldwin City Signal.
The World Company, owners of the Signal, the Lawrence Journal-World and other weekly papers in the area, purchased the Ledger and the Lawrence Business Ledger Friday from Chad Lawhorn, editor/publisher and owner of the newspapers. Terms were not disclosed.
"We're pleased about this development and look forward to publishing an even stronger Baldwin City Signal as the community's newspaper," said Jeff Myrick, editor/publisher of the Signal.
The name of the merged paper will continue to be the Signal, but the flag and masthead of the Signal will incorporate references to the Ledger.
"We think the merger is a positive step for Baldwin City. Our community is growing and changing and that's good. But, we're respectful of the strong history that Baldwin has and by merging the two papers we will be able to maintain that history and continuity in its home-town publications," said Myrick. "With the merger, we now have more than a century of that history in our newspaper's lineage, and the combined Signal and Ledger today is the oldest paper in Douglas County."
Lawhorn acquired the Ledger in January of 1999 after having worked in the Ledger newsroom for the previous eight years.
"It's difficult to say good-bye after being a part of these newspapers for the past 10 years, but I believe the weekly newspaper industry in this area has gone through some significant changes in the past year that would require my company to make some large new investments to stay competitive in the long run," Lawhorn said. "When an attractive opportunity came along to sell the papers to a strong, respected, local company, I decided it was
time to make a change.
"I certainly want to thank the many loyal readers and advertisers that the newspapers have had over the years," Lawhorn said. "It truly has been a privilege to be associated with them for the past decade. I also have been fortunate to have a very dedicated and talented staff to work with, a supportive family, and several wonderful and kind mentors who have helped me along the way. I owe them all very much and only hope that the newspapers have served as an example of fair and accurate journalism."
There will be one significant enhancement to the Signal as a result of the merger.
The "Remember When" feature from the Ledger, which looks back at events in Baldwin City during the past five, 10, 15 and 25 years, will be added. Those archives will be transferred to the Signal this week and will be incorporated in next week's issue.
"Based on comments from the community, the 'Remember When' feature in the Ledger is something readers want," Myrick said. "We'll be more than happy to provide that. Our readers have made it clear they like what we've done from the time we started. We will continue to provide Baldwin City with the news, sports and features the Signal has been known for."
Legal notices will move to the Signal, too. The Signal is now the official publication of both the Baldwin School District and the City of Baldwin City exclusively.
The Signal will also fulfill the paid subscriptions of those who subscribed to the Ledger but not to the Signal. Subscription records have been turned over and are being reviewed. Persons with questions may call the Signal at 594-7080.
"We have always strived to provide the Baldwin community with the best in journalism and advertising," said Myrick. "We believe this merger will enable us to build on the strong foundations of both publications to offer one superior newspaper Baldwin City wants and deserves."