MERIDEN — The RJ Media Group, owner of the Record-Journal, closed on a deal this week to purchase The Cheshire Herald from longtime owners Joe and Maureen Jakubisyn.
The Cheshire Herald, a weekly publication founded in 1953, will continue to operate with a fully-staffed office located in Cheshire, RJ Publisher Eliot White told Record-Journal employees Wednesday.
“This acquisition is an important part of the Record-Journal’s strategic growth plan,” White said. “It makes us a stronger local news and advertising organization and a stronger local company overall.”
White is president and publisher, and the fourth generation of his family to lead the Record-Journal. Liz White Notarangelo, Eliot White’s daughter, serves as executive vice president and assistant publisher of the Record-Journal. She will become The Cheshire Herald’s new publisher.
“As a Cheshire resident, I’ve learned that The Cheshire Herald is a foundation in this community,” Liz White said. “It’s an honor to carry on the tradition of The Herald as the Jakubisyns pass the torch to our family-owned media company. We feel this is a perfect addition to RJ Media Group and we’re committed to continuing to provide quality local news and helping local businesses grow. This is an exciting time for our company and we look forward to working with even more people now in our local community.”
Started by Howard and Ruth True, the Cheshire Herald was later purchased by August Loeb, who served as publisher from 1963 to 1981. Joe and Maureen Jakubisyn have worked at the paper for a combined 90 years — 31 years as publishers.
“I’ve always had a tremendous love for newspapers since I could read,” Maureen Jakubisyn told The Cheshire Herald. “I studied journalism in college and had a background in bookkeeping when, 40 years ago this week, I stopped by the Notch Store and saw an ad in The Herald for an office person/bookkeeper at the paper. I applied and started on my birthday — 40 years ago. From there it has been exciting to be able to be in the center of the hub of Cheshire activity.”
Joe Jakubisyn began working for The Cheshire Herald when the publication was printed in Hamden. Loeb, the publisher, approached him one day with an invitation to become a sales person. He accepted the job while staying on as a printer in the evenings. He eventually became a full-time salesman and worked 50 years for The Herald, according to the newspaper.
The Jakubisyns took on new roles within the company and became jacks-of-all-trades around the newsroom.
“We worked as a team,” Maureen Jakubisyn said, “with me staying more in the office and Joe still selling ads. We wore many hats, and there was never a dull moment.”
The Cheshire Herald has 11 full- and part-time employees. In addition to the Record-Journal, the RJ Media Group also owns and operates six weekly newspapers, including the Cheshire Citizen. The Cheshire Citizen will continue its separate news coverage and mail delivery to Cheshire households.
“I’ve known Joe and Maureen for 30 years and respect their commitment to local journalism,” Eliot White told The Cheshire Herald. “We are pleased that they have selected us to carry on their proud tradition as the source of trusted local news and advertising in Cheshire. I am also pleased that my daughter will be leading this new era of The Cheshire Herald. As publisher, she will bring her enthusiasm and strong background in journalism and business.”