Dix Communications sells 2 publishing units, four Maryland radio stations
January 1, 2016
With a strategic plan in place, Dix Communications is charting new territory as it sells some of its media properties while at the same time looks to diversify its portfolio with the purchase of other businesses.
Dix Communications President G. Charles Dix II said the company sold Defiance Publishing, Frankfort (Ky.) Publishing and its four radio stations in the Frostburg/Cumberland, Md., area.
"We love the communities we're exiting and the people there," Dix said. "But, we are very excited about the future and the potential we see with collaborating with our business units in Northeastern and Eastern Ohio."
Forever Media purchased the four Maryland radio stations in late August, while Boone Newspapers Inc. purchased Frankfort Publishing in September.
Defiance Publishing was purchased by Adams Publishing Group in December 2015.
“It has been a privilege and a pleasure to serve the greater Defiance community and the people—both past and present—that make it a wonderful place to work and live,” Dix said. “We are excited about Adams as buyers as they are a family business, like we were, that we think will value content and products, will honor and invest in the community, and will retain and hire talented people.”
Nothing will really change for the other publishing companies. Dix Communications is keeping its other print media properties and its three Florida radio stations in Gainesville and Ocala, which are in a growth market.
The strategic plan, more than six months in the making, concentrates the geographical reach -- and focus -- of Dix Communications, a fifth-generation, family-owned business. Three priorities emerged: To reinvest in its publishing operations, which includes print (newspaper, magazines, niche publications) and digital products; establish and grow its ad agency, Full Spectrum Marketing; and acquire small- to medium-sized businesses outside of the publishing industry.
The reason for the geographic concentration is because of Dix Communications' Joint Production Facility (printing plant) in Wooster, a state-of-the-art printing facility.
"Since the recession, many things have been in transition, including the publishing industry," Dix said. "We feel the best way to transition ourselves is to set up our business so we can create efficiencies that allow us to publish our products in a cost-effective way that leads to profitability and to competitive advertising pricing for our clients. Our Joint Production Facility allows efficiencies."
It prints the company's products from areas like Wooster, Holmes County, Ashland, Cambridge, Alliance and Kent-Ravenna.
The limiting of the geographic scope also permits better utilization of the company's human capital, Dix said.
With its ad agency, Full Spectrum Marketing, the company can offer clients help with website design, search engine optimization, brand development, advertising campaigns, email blasts, digital ads and reputation management.
The transition is not without its challenges. But, the company's strong financial position -- it historically has not incurred much debt -- gives Dix Communications' leadership the ability to do innovative things.
The selling of its assets means money can be raised internally instead of going into debt, Dix said. This will help with investments in the printing operations and with acquisitions of new businesses.
What businesses will join the fold of the Dix Communications family is uncertain now, but Chief Financial Officer Todd Whetstone indicates that the company is actively seeking business acquisition opportunities. "We'll always consider strategic media acquisitions, but we also plan to diversify beyond traditional media operations, as long as it fits the core competencies we have."
Those core competencies include marketing, information, promotion and production, and they are applicable to many businesses, Dix said.
Gearhart, Taylor join The Daily Record
August 6, 2015
WOOSTER -- Two new department heads have joined The Daily Record. Kelly Gearhart is the new advertising director and Colette Taylor is niche production manager.
Gearhart will lead the advertising sales team. She comes to Wooster from the Mansfield News Journal where she was advertising manager, and led the territory sales team in three markets -- Mansfield, Marion and Bucyrus.
She lives in Ashland with her husband, Randy Gearhart, son, David, and daughter, Emma.
She originally is from Pennslyvania, and began her newspaper career at the Tribune Review in Greensburg, Pa., after attending Seaton Hill University, and has been in newspaper advertising ever since.
Taylor will work with publications including ACRE, HerSide, Gas & Oil Magazine and others, as well as an array of community guides and chamber directories.
Taylor earned a bachelor's degree in marketing from Cleveland State University. Her most recent job was working with the Fund for Our Economic Future, of which the Wayne Economic Development Council is a member, a philanthropic collaborative focused on economic development initiatives in a 16-county region of Northeast Ohio.
Currently residing in North Ridgeville with her husband, Taylor is a graduate of the Cleveland Bridge Builders leadership development program and is involved in many civic and volunteer activities.
The Daily Record publishes in Wayne & Holmes counties in Ohio. Visit www.the-daily-record.com for more information.
New general manager named at The Jeffersonian Co. in Cambridge
June 29, 2015
John Kridelbaugh has been named general manager at The Jeffersonian Co.
Dix Communications has owned the Cambridge newspaper company and related enterprises since 1975.
Kridlebaugh's appointment is effective July 1.
He will be assuming many of the responsibilities in Cambridge of Publisher Andrew S. Dix, who also is publisher of The Daily Record of Wooster. Dix also had his corporate roles expanded recently by being named publisher of The Ashland Times-Gazette.
Kridelbaugh comes to Cambridge with an impressive and extensive media industry background.
He is a native Iowan who has been involved in the media industry for more than 20 years. Most recently, Kridelbaugh served as product and sales development director for Dix Communications in Kent, a position he held since 2011.
Prior to joining Dix Communications, he spent 15 years with the Gannett Co. in several marketing, digital and advertising roles at newspapers in Des Moines, Iowa; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Boise, Idaho; Wilmington, Del.; and Indianapolis, Ind.
He has a bachelor's degree in marketing from Upper Iowa University in Fayette.
In taking over management of The Jeffersonian Co., he will be in charge of the longest continually operating, privately held corporation in Guernsey County.
Its flagship product, The Daily & Sunday Jeffersonian, was founded as a weekly newspaper in 1824 and became a daily in 1892. The first edition of the daily rolled off the presses on Monday, Sept. 9, of that year.
Today the company publishes weekly newspapers in New Concord, Newcomerstown and Barnesville, as well as the Cambridge daily and Sunday publication. Dix Communications also publishes specialty magazines throughout the region under the banner of Spectrum Publications and has an increasing digital media presence.
"I'm excited to join the staff at The Jeffersonian and help continue the long history of serving Cambridge and the surrounding communities," Kridelbaugh said. "Newspapers and newspaper websites are a vital asset to a community - sharing news and information, informing the community and helping businesses promote their products and services are at the core of what we do. Having a strong newspaper is important to having a strong community."
He said, "In my role with Dix Communications I have had the opportunity to spend time in Cambridge. I'm looking forward to moving my family to the area and becoming part of the community."
Kridelbaugh and his wife, Suzanne, have four children.
Troy Dix moves into corporate role, Andrew S. Dix assumes publisher position at Times-Gazette
June 16, 2015
Troy Dix shifted his focus June 15 from daily operations of the Times-Gazette into a corporate role for Dix Communications.
That change allows for concentrated efforts on upgrading and developing the corporate infrastructure in order to advance growth potential in Dix Communications. His position will continue to be based in Ashland.
Dix, who assumed the role of publisher in 1999, said, "I've enjoyed being involved in community journalism and the family's business ventures, especially here in Ashland. We are excited about the future of the business, and I look forward to helping it grow."
Andrew S. Dix will assume the role of publisher of the Times-Gazette. Andrew S. Dix also is publisher at The Daily Record in Wooster and The Daily Jeffersonian in Cambridge.
Andrew S. Dix, who will spend time onsite weekly in Ashland, said, "We are incredibly fortunate to publish in wonderful, vibrant communities. My role is concentrated on our newspaper operations, which I truly enjoy.
"Our family has a long history in the business, and I look forward to the opportunity and am excited to work with the talented team at the Times-Gazette. We're focused on continuing to grow our company, and working with our area businesses and community leaders."
Full Spectrum executive leadership announced
May 5, 2015
Dix Communications is pleased to announce the hires of Josh Gordon as President of Full Spectrum and Vice President of Dix Communications, and Mike Salvi as Vice President of Business Development, Full Spectrum.
The hiring of these two individuals continues Dix Communications’ desire to concentrate and grow our digital agency efforts, as well as develop Full Spectrum into a more comprehensive agency model. Josh and Mike bring digital agency experience, full agency experience and marketing backgrounds.
“Josh and Mike are a natural fit for our organization and associates, allowing us to advance our digital offerings to our publishing advertisers, yet growing our skills so that we will be able to provide complete agency results for all clients,” said Chuck Dix, President of Dix Communications.
Full Spectrum will continue to support Dix Communications' publishing efforts as a partner, as well as develop new clients that may need assistance in growing their digital and marketing presence.
“Over the coming months we are excited to introduce a number of new products that expand our existing capabilities,” Gordon said. “Current clients will enjoy additional ways to reach their customers and growth their audiences online. Our goal is simple—provide a complete marketing and communications solution."
About Full Spectrum
Full Spectrum is a division of Dix Communications. Full Spectrum offers complete access to local audience along with advanced targeting options to reach your business’s existing and potential customers in any place and at any time. Contact Full Spectrum today to initiate a conversation on how a strong digital strategy can grow your company.
New Circulation Director hired at The Daily Record
March 22, 2015
Bill Lally was recently named the new circulation director for The Daily Record in Wooster, Ohio.
Lally joined The Daily Record after working for the Plain Dealer in Cleveland for the past eight years.
"The goal is to continue striving to improve customer service," Lally said, as he will continue to "preach customer loyalty to our brands, while growing readership."
“We're just very excited to have (Lally) on board," added Betty Lentz, vice president of audience retention & development for Dix Communications, who praised Lally’s "broad depth of experience" while she was in Wooster getting him up to speed.
The Daily Record serves the Wayne & Holmes county areas in north central Ohio. Visit www.the-daily-record.com for more information.
Record Publishing Co. brings home awards at Ohio Newspaper Association Convention
February 23, 2015
The Record Publishing Co. weekly newspapers were winners in the Osman C. Hooper Newspaper Awards, presented by the Ohio Newspaper Association Weekly Newspaper Committee and Ohio Newspapers Foundation.
The winners are as follows:
- First place, Best Editorial
- Third place, Sports Coverage Division A
- First place, Best Local Feature Division A
- Second place, Best Headline
- Third place, Advertising Division A
- Third place, News Coverage Division A
- First place, Sports Coverage Division B
- Second place, News Coverage Division B
- Second place, Design Division B
- First place, News Coverage Division A
- Second place, Design Division A
- First place, Original Columns Division A
- First place, Advertising Division B
Record Publishing publisher presented with President’s Award at Ohio Newspaper Association annual conference
February 19, 2015
Continuing a legacy that began when his grandfather headed the organization in 1944, Record Publishing Company Publisher and Dix Communications Board member David Dix was recently presented the Ohio Newspaper Association's President's Award at the ONA's annual convention.
ONA board president Karl Heminger, publisher of The Findlay Courier and the head of Findlay Publishing Co., presented Dix with the award, which is given annually in recognition of exceptional, exemplary service to Ohio's newspaper industry and to the association.
"I certainly appreciate this honor," Dix told the convention crowd. "It's probably the highest honor I've ever had, and I will cherish it."
He expressed gratitude for his involvement with the Ohio Newspaper Association.
"I always thought it was a privilege to serve the ONA as a trustee," he said. "It enriched me professionally, but it also made me appreciate the quality of the people who get into this game."
And he reminded the convention audience of Ohio journalists that their work is "really important. These communities still depend on us."
"What we're doing is important, we should never forget that," Dix said. "We should encourage people to get into this business."
Heminger thanked Dix for his "extraordinary service" and shared his storied career.
"He joined the Board of Trustees in 1998 and worked his way through the leadership ladders to become the fourth member of the Dix family to serve as ONA president, a trend that started when his grandfather, Emmett Dix, served as board chairman from 1944-1953," he said.
"He started at Record Publishing in 1968 while attending the University of Akron, where he earned a law degree after graduating from Oberlin College, spending two years in India as a teacher and earning a master's in journalism at Syracuse University," Heminger continued. "He was named publisher in 1974 at age 33, a role he has held ever since in the company his grandfather and great-grandfather started in 1898 by buying the Wooster Daily Record for $500."
Dix is publisher of the Record Publishing Company, which includes the Record-Courier, a daily newspaper covering Portage County, Ohio. In addition, Dix is publisher of the newspaper’s weekly division, including the Aurora Advocate, The Gateway News, Stow Sentry, The News Leader, Cuyahoga Falls News-Press, Hudson Hub-Times, Twinsburg Bulletin and Tallmadge Express.
NEW VP OF AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT & RETENTION NAMED
January 9, 2015
Betty Lentz, circulation director of The Crescent-News since 1996, has been named to the newly-created corporate position of vice president of audience retention and development for Dix Communications.
Her new responsibilities will include working with the circulation, marketing and web departments at each of the seven Dix Communication newspapers.
Lentz will maintain an office at The Crescent-News in Defiance, Ohio. She is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana and resides in Hicksville, Ohio.
Dix Communications is a family-owned publishing business with daily newspaper properties, websites and associated media products in Defiance, Wooster, Alliance, Kent, Cambridge, Ashland and Frankfort, Ky. The company also includes radio stations in Ohio, Florida, and Maryland.