HARRISONBURG — Ogden Newspapers Inc. completed its purchase of Byrd Newspapers on Saturday, taking ownership of the Daily News-Record and naming Craig Bartoldson as the paper’s publisher.
The 59-year-old Jamestown, N.Y., native has been in the industry since 1993. He has worked with Wheeling, W.Va.,-based Ogden community newspapers his entire career, most recently serving as publisher of The Journal in Martinsburg, W.Va.
Bartoldson, whose first day in the post was Sunday, said he has been visiting family in the Harrisonburg area for about a year. He sought the opportunity to lead the paper when Ogden announced on March 6 that it was buying the Daily News-Record and five other newspapers owned by the Byrd family.
“I think Harrisonburg is a dynamic community with the colleges, the growth of the area,” he said. “It’s just an exciting location, an exciting place to be.
“The opportunity to work with a strong newspaper and find ways to make it even better really appealed to me.”
Cameron Nutting Williams, Ogden’s regional publisher who oversees the Daily News-Record, heralded Bartoldson as an experienced industry professional who should fit Harrisonburg well.
“Craig’s proven track record of driving success in advertising and managing a production facility that landed significant commercial printing work make him a great fit for the Daily News-Record,” Williams said. “We fully expect that the Harrisonburg market and the Daily News-Record will continue to grow.
“Craig is committed to helping to drive that growth and continuing to ensure our place as a valuable part of this vibrant community.”
His first publishing job was with the Times Observer in Warren, Pa., and he later held the same post with the Herald-Star in Steubenville, Ohio, and The Weirton (W.Va.) Daily Times. He moved into West Virginia’s section of the Shenandoah Valley in 2005 with his appointment in Martinsburg.
Bartoldson said that in an age when people have access to more information than ever, he’s a strong proponent of community newspapers.
“It’s always been because of such a strong focus on local content, local news, which you just can’t get anywhere else,” he said. “We don’t try to compete with the nationals. We have national news in the paper, but our forte is our communities and what goes on in our communities.”
That, Bartoldson said, means the Daily News-Record’s commitment to local news coverage won’t be diminished.
In fact, now that it’s part of a company with 45 daily newspapers nationwide and three others in the Shenandoah Valley, he said the paper will have additional resources to enhance its coverage.
“My focus will definitely be getting into the local market, reaching out, getting as much of the local content into the Daily News-Record as possible,” Bartoldson said. “As a company, we believe in small community newspapers.
“Being close to other papers allows us to take advantage of the strengths of our other papers. We can provide much stronger regional news coverage because we reach a larger area.” He added that Ogden is committed to “maintaining this as the quality of newspaper” that it is.
Bartoldson and his wife, Elaine, have three children ages 27, 25 and 19.
He said he, his brother Brian, and his sister Julie and their immediate families are the only Bartoldsons in the United States.
Contact Vic Bradshaw at 574-6279 or email@example.com