FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 25, 2002
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois Times, Springfield’s 27-year-old weekly newspaper announced a change of ownership today.
Effective with the Thursday, July 25th edition of the newspaper, Fletcher Farrar is once again owner and publisher of Illinois Times. Farrar owned the paper from 1977-1997, when he sold to Yesse Communications, who operated the paper through Tuesday.
“I made the decision to repurchase the paper when it was clear its 27-year history as a competitive media voice was in jeopardy. It would be wrong to walk away from the 50,000 plus people who read the paper each week,” said Farrar. “I’m grateful to the staff members who have loyally kept the paper going while I was gone, and to the many friends who have encouraged me to get back into this important arena. Readers can be assured now that Illinois Times is not going away.”
In an editorial that appears in the new edition, Farrar announced several changes, including his decision to stop publishing “adult” ads, a move he made to clearly communicate his desire to have the paper be more “family friendly.” He also announced an immediate increase in the paper’s weekly circulation, the return of the paper to the “free” racks inside local grocery stores and plans to move the newspaper office to a South State St. location. Illinois Times’ office has been at 610 South Seventh St. since 1978.
Joining Farrar is Sharon Whalen, who was general manager from 1979-1990. Whalen will serve as Associate Publisher and manage the transition as well as day to day operations. Other key staffers are Beth Parkes-Irwin, senior sales executive, and Editor Pete Sherman.
“We want to be a community newspaper, in the best tradition of small-town weeklies – with lots of local news, scrappy editorials, solid ethics and pride of place. Over the coming weeks and months we plan to transform the paper into a more sophisticated and thoughtful publication. Our courage will be demonstrated by long-term commitment, not mouthing off.”
For more information, please contact:
Fletcher Farrar at (217) 525-9083
Sharon Whalen (217) 753-2226 x 137