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Cloverdale newspaper acquired by Sonoma West

The 134-year-old Cloverdale Reveille will change owners July 1, purchased by the company that publishes weekly newspapers in Healdsburg, Sebastopol and Windsor.

Sonoma West Publishers has announced its purchase of the Reveille, with a circulation of 2,300. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The Reveille's owners said Tuesday the sale will allow some of them to retire while the community retains a local voice. They said Sonoma West Publisher Rollie Atkinson was a good fit and will keep the newspaper in print each Wednesday.

"He really understands small town papers," said Reveille Publisher Val H. Hanchett.

Hanchett's mother, Bonny Jean (BJ) Hanchett, in 1988 purchased the Reveille, which has published continuously since 1879. The Hanchett family previously owned the Clear Lake Observer.

Hanchett, 68, said he plans to retire after more than 45 years in the newspaper business.

Also retiring among the five-person staff will be Hanchett's sisters, managing editor Roberta Lyons and Kathryn McKaig, who manages legal advertising. Hanchett's wife, Neena Hanchett, will stay on as the Reveille's associate publisher.

Atkinson and his wife Sarah Bradbury, Sonoma West's associate publisher, were out of the country Tuesday and unavailable for comment.

But in a story on the Sonoma West website, Atkinson suggested his company would provide the same "shared talents" for advertising services and news stories as now occurs with his other papers, The Healdsburg Tribune, The Windsor Times and Sonoma West Times & News in Sebastopol.

"All of our newspapers serve a local and distinct community," said Atkinson. "Each one has its own independent voice. By combining some business and support services — especially a larger advertising audience and reach — we are able to add valuable strength and shared talents to each of the papers."


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