Jun 1, 2012

New owners for Early Bird and Blue Bag Media


GREENVILLE – Darke County residents have relied on The Early Bird for community news, events and business advertisements since 1968. The newspaper is pleased to announce the tradition will continue for many years to come under new ownership, Brothers Publishing, Co.  Greenville natives Fred Foutz and Keith Foutz have purchased the company and admit their return to the area is like coming home. Keith noted he had sent an email annually to Carol Ball for the past 10 or 11 years expressing an interest in purchasing the company.
Fred will return to Darke County and serve as president and publisher of the company. Keith is expected to return in a year or two. Both are excited about the challenge of taking The Early Bird and Blue Bag Media to new heights. Through both publications, the Foutz brothers want the company to have a more dominate presence in the community. Fred said, “We want to be relevant to the people in the community and to the people we serve.”
Even with newspapers around the country struggling, both brothers believe the role of the local newspaper continues to be relevant and feel that newspapers are going to be around and continue to thrive for a long time.
The new owners bring nearly 80 years of experience to The Early Bird and Blue Bag Media.
Fred is a 43-year newspaper veteran in Circulation Management and as Editor and Publisher of weekly newspaper. He was most recently Vice-President of Circulation for GateHouse Media, owner of over 80 dailies and several hundred weeklies.
Fred started his career at the Dayton Daily News as a district manager.  His experience includes a 10-year stint with Knight Ridder and two separate terms with Gannett totaling 15 years, where he was awarded the President’s ring twice.  He served on the board of directors of NAA’s Circulation Federation and served on various NAA and ICMA committees, was past president and board chairman of CSCMA, where he was voted the Circulation Executive of the Year in 1984 and won the CSCMA President’s award in 2004.  Foutz was recently inducted into the Newspaper Circulation Hall of Fame.
Originally from Dayton, he attended Wittenberg University in Springfield, and has worked for 14 newspapers of all sizes in 12 states from Maine to California and from Minnesota to Florida.  Foutz is married to Donna (McGlinch) and both are Greenville natives.
Keith graduated from Greenville High School in 1974 and has been working in the newspaper industry since 1977 when he joined The Columbus Dispatch.  With over 35 years of experience, Keith has had a diverse career entailing all aspects of both daily and weekly operations. He has worked at various newspapers across the county with stints as both General Manager and Publisher.
Keith has received recognition for his role at one of the fastest growing papers in the country for six consecutive years. He was awarded the Sales Executive of the Year by the NAA organization in 2007 in Las Vegas and has been the winner of the Northwest Print quality competition seven out of the last nine years. He is a frequent presenter at newspaper conferences throughout the U.S.
He has sat on the Board of Directors for the United Way of Deschutes County, OR and is a prior member of the Kiwanis and Rotary organizations. His wife, Peggy, is also active in the community and sits on the local Chamber of Commerce in Deschutes County, OR.
He has two sons, Brian and Travis. Brian also resides in Oregon and works for the newspaper and Travis works in Nashville, TN.
Fred Foutz                                  Keith Foutz

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