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KERA completes acquisition of the Denton Record-Chronicle

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KERA, North Texas’ source for NPR and PBS programming, and the Denton Record-Chronicle, Denton County’s primary source of local news, have officially completed their previously announced acquisition. As of August 7, the newspaper belongs to a wholly owned LLC, Denton Public Media, operated by KERA.

As part of KERA’s ecosystem of essential services for North Texas, the Denton Record-Chronicle will remain a local news organization, headquartered in Denton and focused on issues and people in Denton County. The Record-Chronicle newsroom and the KERA newsroom will share resources and expertise.

“We are so excited to preserve and grow the Denton Record-Chronicle,” says Nico Leone, President & CEO of KERA. “Our two organizations share a common goal and purpose in this partnership — to keep local news in local hands in Denton County. It really is an honor to take this step together.”

“I am so excited about the opportunity to grow community journalism with KERA,” says Bill Patterson, Publisher of the Denton Record-Chronicle. “This partnership is a win for our two organizations, but more importantly a win for the citizens of Denton and Denton County. Adding new products such as podcasts and collaborative reporting will show a commitment to keeping our communities informed on local news, education, sports, business and go-and-do activities.”

For more than 77 years, the Record-Chronicle has largely operated as a family-owned organization. In 2021, seeking a sustainable and trusted future for the paper, Patterson reached out to The National Trust for Local News to facilitate a path forward. The nonprofit is dedicated to preserving local newsrooms and, like KERA and the Record-Chronicle, recognizes that local news is the bedrock of a healthy democracy.

Although the Trust has helped preserve and grow dozens of news organizations, the acquisition between KERA and the Record-Chronicle is unique. Few public media stations serve as an anchor for a local newspaper, making this a groundbreaking model for preserving local news nationwide.

“The potential for this model has no bounds,” says Leone. “Public media has a long legacy of trust and sustainability — and in an increasingly partisan news landscape, those traits are all the more valued. We’re incredibly excited about the promise of this model for newsrooms across the country, in addition to what it means here locally for Denton.”

In fact, the Record-Chronicle is not the first way KERA has embraced innovative partnership. In 2022, KERA launched a collaboration with the Fort Worth Report, a digital nonprofit news service for and by Tarrant County. That same year, KERA and The Dallas Morning News launched Arts Access — a partnership expanding arts journalism in North Texas through the lens of access and equity. Additionally, KERA is the lead newsroom of the Texas public media hub, The Texas Newsroom, which creates and shares statewide reporting. And most recently, KERA began managing the 102-year-old classical music station, WRR 101.1. Between all of its collaborations and partnerships, KERA has on-the-ground presence in Fort Worth, Denton, Dallas, Fair Park and across Texas — helping the station to be embedded in the communities it serves.

Subscribers can continue to expect the digital and print news they rely on from the Record-Chronicle, though the acquisition offers exciting opportunities for both organizations. Listeners will hear Record-Chronicle reporters on KERA News 90.1, KERA podcasts and other platforms — while the Record-Chronicle will share reporting from the KERA newsroom. Sharing reporting and resources in this way will expand the reach of both organizations’ trusted reporting, while providing all North Texans with a deeper understanding of Denton, our region as a whole and one another.