Stephens Media Iowa LLC, owner of the Ames Tribune and several other central Iowa newspapers, has acquired the Perry Chief.
"The Chief is one of Iowa’s great community newspapers, and we are pleased to make it a part of our media family," said Geoff Schumacher, publisher of the Ames Tribune. "We are eager to serve the readers and advertisers of Perry."
Stephens Media purchased the Chief and the Chiefland Shopper from Lori Lott and her parents, Steve and Myrna Whitehead. The family had owned and operated the paper since 1928. Lott’s grandfather, G.E. "Whitey" Whitehead, ran the paper until he passed away in 1964. He also served one term in the Iowa House of Representatives and two terms in the state Senate.
Steve Whitehead joined the staff in 1963 and served as publisher until 2002. Lott has been working at the paper since 1987 and became publisher upon her father’s retirement. The Chief has been published since 1874.
Lott thanked the many advertisers, subscribers, community members and organizations for their loyalty and support of the Chief over the years.
"Perry has been the ideal place for our family to live and work over these many years," she said. "Personally, the staff at the Chief and the members of the community will remain a very significant part of who I am. I appreciate the relationships we have built and the traditions we have established. On behalf of all of my family, I extend a sincere ‘Thank you.’"
Lott expressed confidence that the transition to new ownership will go smoothly. "Perry and the Chief have always been successful at redefining themselves," she said. "I believe this will be another shining example of that ability."
The Chief will continue to operate as usual at its longtime offices at 1323 Second St.
Schumacher announced that Patricia Snyder, controller of the Ames Tribune, has been named publisher of the Chief. She also will oversee the Dallas County News, Northeast Dallas County Record and Grimes Today, all based in Adel.
"Pat has poured her heart and soul into the newspaper business for a dozen years, and she’s well suited to take on this new challenge," Schumacher said. "I’m confident she will lift the Chief and our other Dallas County publications to new heights."
Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Stephens Media Iowa is part of Stephens Media LLC, a nationwide media company that publishes 11 daily newspapers from Hawaii to North Carolina. Its flagship newspaper is the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The company also publishes more than 50 weekly newspapers, a dozen magazines and numerous websites.
Besides the Ames Tribune, Stephens Media Iowa also publishes the Boone News-Republican, Nevada Journal, Tri-County Times, Story City Herald, Dallas County News, Northeast Dallas County Record and Grimes Today.