Charleston Gazette-Mail To File For Bankruptcy

WHEELING — The Charleston Gazette-Mail on Monday announced it would be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and that The Ogden Newspapers Inc. has emerged as the high bidder for the company.

The Gazette-Mail plans to file for bankruptcy today, officials with the newspaper said.

“We’re extremely proud to be the prospective publisher of the Charleston Gazette-Mail,” said Robert Nutting, president and CEO of the Ogden Newspapers. “We have a high level of respect for the newspaper’s proud heritage and realize it has served for many years as an extremely important institution in the state of West Virginia. We firmly believe in the importance of community-based journalism, and we look forward to the opportunity to work with the excellent team of journalists and professionals at the Gazette-Mail.”

The Ogden Newspapers has a strong history in West Virginia. The company, founded in 1890 by H.C. Ogden, publishes daily newspapers in Wheeling, Parkersburg, Martinsburg, Weirton and Elkins.

The Intelligencer, based in Wheeling, is West Virginia’s oldest newspaper, founded on Aug. 24, 1852, and was instrumental in advocating for the state’s formation.

“We are proud of the newspapers that we publish in West Virginia,” Nutting said. “We have the largest news organizations in each of our communities and currently employ more than 70 journalists throughout West Virginia.”

The Gazette-Mail is owned by the Chilton family. Charleston had been a two-newspaper town with the Gazette and the Charleston Daily Mail until 2015, when the two publications merged.

Susan Chilton Shumate, publisher of the Charleston Gazette-Mail, said in a letter to employees Monday, “The Charleston Gazette, now the Charleston Gazette-Mail, has been my family’s passion for the last century. To follow in the footsteps of Ned Chilton, my father, and Betty Chilton, my mother, as publisher of this paper has been a tremendous honor for me and my family. At the end of this process, we will be letting go of that passion.”

Nutting said newspapers continue to play an important role in the state’s and the nation’s future, and that the Ogden Newspapers remain committed to providing readers with quality and trusted journalism.

“Newspapers remain economically strong, and we are pleased that this process is moving forward,” Nutting said. “We continue to believe that newspapers can have a bright and sustainable future. The Gazette-Mail is an important institution to Charleston and all of West Virginia. I believe that it can, and must, have a bright future.”

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