Wick Communications has purchased the Delta County Independent, a 137-year-old weekly that serves Delta and Montrose counties in Colorado.
Wick, a third-generation family-owned media company, bought the newspaper and its office building from the Sunderland family, which had owned it for three decades.
Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April, the merger and acquisitions firm headquartered in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented the Sunderlands in the transaction. Terms were not disclosed.
Sierra Vista, Arizona-based Wick already owed the nearby Montrose Daily Press, which it acquired in the 1990s.
“The Delta County Independent will remain independent,” Pat Sunderland wrote in a note to readers May 1, when the transaction closed. “Our greatest desire is for the transition to be successful for our staff, for the community and for the Wick family.”
Randy Sunderland said in a Delta County Independent article on the sale that his family had been talking with the Wick family “for many years.”
“Ten years ago, there were some internal reasons why it wasn’t the right time. We’ve cleared the things that needed to disappear so we could do it,” he said. “We are thankful that the Wicks are the kind of company that could come in and keep that community flavor and community focus. They have a proven track record.”
In the announcement at the paper, Wick Communications President and CEO Francis Wick said the company was honored to have been chosen by the Sunderland family.
“The Delta County Independent and surrounding communities (it serves) have a strong, independent spirit and voice that the newspaper will continue to support and foster,” Wick said. “Ultimately, a newspaper is only as strong as the community fabric and desire to grow together, rather than apart.”
With the sale, Montrose Daily Press Publisher Dennis Anderson will also serve as publisher at the Independent.
“To have the opportunity to be the publisher of my hometown community newspaper is an incredible honor,” Anderson said. “My ties to the community run deep. The Independent has always been a part of my life and is how I have stayed informed about Delta County over the years.”
Ron Sunderland will remain as the paper’s production manager, and Roxanne (Sunderland) McCormick as advertising director. All current Independent staffers were offered jobs under the new ownership.