The parent company of the New Hampshire Business Review has purchased the Cabinet Press, ending 196 years of family ownership of The Cabinet, Milford’s weekly paper.
Independent Publications Inc. acquired the Milford paper through its McLean Communications Inc. subsidiary. Manchester-based McLean owns New Hampshire Business Review, New Hampshire Magazine and NH.com.
IPI is a private company headquartered in Pennsylvania that owns daily, weekly and monthly publications in three states.
Sale price was not disclosed.
Along with The Cabinet, a paid weekly newspaper with circulation of about 7,000 from Wilton through Amherst, the Cabinet Press publishes three free weeklies in Bedford, Hollis/Brookline and Merrimack, which together are mailed to almost 26,000 homes.
David Solomon, editor of The Telegraph for the past four years, has been named the Cabinet’s new publisher. IPI also owns the Hudson-based Telegraph.
Telegraph Managing Editor Nick Pappas will assume Solomon’s responsibilities on an interim basis.
“It’s sad, but you can grieve without regretting,” said Martha Manley, The Cabinet’s controller and the great-great-great-great-granddaughter of the man who brought the paper to Milford, about the sale. “Newspapers are changing. Advertisers are changing. The Internet is changing. Readership is changing. In order to have this paper continue doing what it has done so well, it needs more resources and skills than we have.”
Martha Manley said her three grown children were not interested in running the business, and as she and her husband, publisher Frank Manley, approached retirement age they started thinking about its future.
She said she was happy about selling to The Telegraph, which is the dominant daily paper in town and has had a full-time office in Milford for more than 15 years.
“We tried hard to find something that’s comfortable. We care about the paper so much, we care about the community, about the employees,” she said.
For The Telegraph, the purchase makes business sense due to changes in the industry.
“The growth in readership in the industry has been at the weekly level,” Solomon, who while editor at the Portsmouth Herald took part in that newspaper’s acquisition of a chain of area dailies.
Solomon stressed that the newsrooms and advertising staff of the Cabinet papers and The Telegraph would remain separate, even though they compete for readers and business.
“People want the Milford Cabinet to be the Milford Cabinet, not to be a weekly edition of The Telegraph,” he said. “There are no plans for immediate changes in personnel or operating procedure.”
Telegraph Publisher Terry Williams agreed. “(The Cabinet’s papers) are intensely local. To me, that’s the secret of newspapers these days,” he said.
This article appears in the April 29 2005 issue of New Hampshire Business Review