The Katy Times is continuing to be published after an announced July 25 closing date thanks to a deal negotiated between Fenice Community Media and Hartman Newspapers, LP.
Hartman Newspapers, LP which has owned the Times since 1973, announced last month that it planned to cease publishing the print edition of the newspaper. Hartman sold its interest in the Katy Times to Chionsini Children Ltd. Chionsini Children is managed by Cedar Park-based Fenice Community Media.
“We are pleased to be able to continue publishing the Katy Times. The outpouring of support for the newspaper from the community since the announcement earlier this month was a major factor in us approaching (Hartman Newspapers) Chairman Bill Hartman to discuss the possibility of a sale,” Fenice Community Media CEO Brandi Chionsini said.
The newspaper has published continually for more than 100 years, starting out as the Brookshire Times before eventually moving to Katy in the 1950s. After several name changes, the paper formally became the Katy Times in 1984.
Fenice Community Media President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Coleman said Karen Lopez, who has published The Sealy News since 2014, will assume the role of publisher of both newspapers.
“Katy is a great community and it deserves to have the chance to see its local newspaper continue publishing,” Coleman said. “Karen is an ideal choice for publisher because she already has strong ties in the community, and she believes in the Katy Times as much as Brandi and I do.”
“Thank you to our valued readers and customers that have allowed us to expand in the Katy area,” Lopez said. “We are excited for the opportunity to connect two community newspapers, so close together, and cover everything from west Houston to Columbus. Government transparency, highlighting our youths and bringing you the news from our outstanding journalists is what we do best. I am thrilled that our family-owned company has honored me by giving me the chance to oversee both The Sealy News and the Katy Times. We have a bright future and it includes all of you!”
Coleman believes the Katy Times fits well into Fenice’s structure.
“Our property in Cedar Park shares some similarities with Katy, and we believe many of the innovations we’ve seen lead to success there will be successful in Katy as well,” he said.
Coleman said plans for the newspaper include improving and expanding sports coverage, adding more digital advertising options for businesses, and improving focus on in-depth and investigative reporting.
The sale is expected the close by Aug. 31, but the companies have negotiated an arrangement that allows Fenice to begin operating the Katy Times and its digital properties as well as Katy Today magazine immediately.
Fenice Community Media publishes four community weekly newspapers, two suburban weekly newspapers, seven web sites and a host of other print and digital publications across Texas.