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GateHouse Media is a newspaper company based in Fairport, N.Y., that owns hundreds of small papers across the country.
GateHouse owns 91 dailies and hundreds of weeklies and shoppers, many of them in Massachusetts, Illinois and New York. It was formed in 2005 by Fortress Investment Group out of the former Liberty Group Publishing. In 2014, its parent company, New Media Investment Group, bought the Providence Journal in Rhode Island for $46 million.
The company bought more than a hundred community papers in a bid to capture local audiences and advertising, but accumulated more than $600 million in debt. Its financial troubles led the New York Stock Exchange to delist it in 2008. The company gave its top executives $1.4 million in bonuses in 2012 as it continued to flounder financially. The company filed for bankruptcy and worked out an agreement to restructure its debt in 2013. It restructured its Massachusetts weeklies and closed 10 of them later that year.
GateHouse announced plans in 2014 to launch metered paywalls at three of its daily papers and a freemium model at a fourth daily.
In December 2008, GateHouse sued The New York Times Co. for violating copyright and trademark law by aggregating content on the Times’ boston.com from GateHouse’s local websites in Massachusetts. The two companies settled out of court in January 2009.
In 2010, GateHouse launched RadarFrog, which aggregates online and local coupon deals. It has been competing fiercely in some markets with AOL’s Patch, with the latter poaching some of the former’s editorial talent in addition to advertising dollars.
Windy Citizen was a Chicago-based local news site that used crowd curation to determine its lead stories. It was founded in 2008 and shut down in 2012. Windy Citizen relied on user submissions for its content. It used a Digg-like mechanism for determining stories’ popularity, asking users — whose identity on the site was tied to…