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KERA and Denton Record-Chronicle move towards acquisition

News Releases 297

DALLAS/FORT WORTH – The Denton Record-Chronicle, Denton County’s primary local newspaper, and KERA, North Texas’ source for PBS and NPR programming, are moving towards KERA’s acquisition of the Denton Record-Chronicle. The two organizations are currently in a discovery phase, with plans to close the acquisition in 2023.

“This arrangement gives us the opportunity and the ability to preserve local journalism for the people of Denton County,” says Bill Patterson, owner and publisher of the Denton Record-Chronicle. “As our population continues to grow, it’s imperative that we grow as well. With KERA’s commitment and expertise, our organization will be able to serve our audiences well into the future.”  

“Local journalism is the bedrock of a strong, healthy community,” says Nico Leone, President & CEO of KERA. “Denton is a thriving city, integral to the makeup of North Texas, and it is growing every day. We couldn’t be more honored to be in these conversations with the legacy paper, and not only sustain, but expand, local reporting in Denton.”

Facilitating the transaction is The National Trust for Local News — a nonprofit dedicated to keeping local news in local hands. The Trust, like KERA and the Record-Chronicle, recognizes the vital role of local journalism in the civic health of communities. Community-focused news and information is fundamental to our democracy, and is increasingly threatened. The national nonprofit works with news organizations across the United States to catalyze the capital, new ownership structures, and business model transformations needed for established local and community news organizations to thrive and remain deeply grounded in their communities. The Record-Chronicle is one of hundreds of news organizations around the nation that has reached out to the Trust seeking a new path forward.

While KERA and the Record-Chronicle are in a discovery and planning phase, a guarantee of the acquisition will be that the Record-Chronicle remains local and hyper-focused on the issues and people of Denton County. By combining the resources and regional knowledge of the two media companies,  KERA and the Record-Chronicle will better serve the people of Denton County and more broadly, the people of North Texas, with trusted, fact-based reporting.

“Our audiences and customers can expect to see even more local coverage with more relevance to their daily lives,” Patterson says. “KERA’s history and knowledge of our communities will only help us bring more context and clarity to the issues that matter in North Texas.”

Plans for KERA’s acquisition of the Record-Chronicle come at a time of exciting growth for the public media organization. In June, the Dallas City Council unanimously approved KERA’s management of the North Texas classical music station WRR 101.1 FM. With the acquisition of the Record-Chronicle, KERA will be the only major-market public broadcasting station to serve its community through a PBS station, three radio stations and a newspaper.

“The timing of these plans with the Record-Chronicle was as much a surprise to us as anyone,” says Mr. Leone. “But this opportunity is much bigger than KERA or even the Record-Chronicle. It’s about the people of Denton, and ensuring their access to reporting on the issues that deeply and intimately impact their everyday lives. Serving them is much more than an opportunity for KERA — it’s our mission and purpose.”

“This groundbreaking acquisition offers an exciting new model for public media organizations serving as anchors for community news,” says Elizabeth Hansen Shapiro, the Co-Founder and CEO of the National Trust for Local News. “We are thrilled to work in partnership with the Record-Chronicle and KERA to ensure that this beloved newspaper continues to serve the residents of Denton.”

For more information about KERA and the Denton Record-Chronicle, please contact Lauren Menking at lmenking@kera.org. For more information about The National Trust for Local News, please contact Elizabeth Hansen Shapiro, CEO, National Trust for Local News at elizabeth@ntln.org.

ABOUT KERA

KERA is a not-for-profit public media organization serving North Texas through KERA TV, KERA Create, KERA World, KERA Kids 24/7, KERA 90.1 and the Triple-A music station KXT 91.7 FM. For over 60 years, North Texans have turned to KERA as a vibrant destination for community engagement and lifelong learning. KERA produces original multimedia content, carries the best in national and international public television and radio programs, and provides online resources at www.kera.org.

ABOUT DENTON RECORD-CHRONICLE

The Denton Record-Chronicle is Denton County’s primary local newspaper, available via digital

and print editions. The paper was founded in 1903 and has been family-owned for more than 77 years. The newspaper also prints and distributes a semi-monthly magazine.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR LOCAL NEWS

The National Trust for Local News is a nonprofit dedicated to keeping local news in local hands. NTLN works with communities to catalyze the capital, new ownership structures, and business model transformations needed for established local and community news organizations to thrive and remain deeply grounded in their communities.