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The Harrell-Fritts family, which has owned The Bakersfield Californian for 122 years, has sold the company to Sound News Media.

The transaction is expected to be completed by June 30.

The Moorhouse family, including Garret P. “Peter” Cowenhoven, Virginia L. “Ginny” Cowenhoven and Virginia F. “Ginger” Moorhouse, made the following statement:

"We are honored to have been a steward of the newspaper in Kern County, and have loved being part of this vibrant community and providing it with a relevant and reliable news source.

"Although we will no longer be owners of these assets, we will continue to be part of this great community. The Bakersfield Californian and those it serves have given our family a deep sense of purpose for well over a century, and serving our community in this way has been a privilege and honor for all of us."

The family went on to thank the staff, the readers and advertisers for its loyalty throughout the years.

"You are all the reason for our efforts."

Among the many honors bestowed on The Californian and its staff during her tenure, Moorhouse was named Editor & Publisher’s 2004 Publisher of the Year and The Californian was the recipient of the University of Oregon’s Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism that same year.

The Harrell-Fritts family retains ownership of The Californian building, at 1707 Eye St., built by family patriarch Alfred Harrell in 1926 and listed since 1983 on the National Register of Historic Places. The family also retains control of the Virginia and Alfred Harrell Foundation, formerly known as the Bakersfield Californian Foundation.

"We are confident that Sound News Media, as the new owner of The Bakersfield Californian and our other media properties, will continue to provide great reader experiences along with highly effective advertising and marketing opportunities," the statement read.

"Their valuable experience and expertise in the industry will enable these publications to continue to grow and thrive. We are excited for the promise they hold for the future, and welcome them to Bakersfield and Kern County."

(10) comments

Fram Smith

A friendly reminder- We have payed out of area trolls commenting. REMUDA is one such individual(s)? BE ADVISED. But for us folks who actually live here and care about having a vibrant local newspaper , in both a digital and old school print format , there could be a way out. The Salt Lake City Utah local newspapers is going to become a non- profit ; and that is a workable business model. The only thing we people have to do is to help the current faceless owner, (I can't find a picture of him) , to decide to sell the paper back to us locals. All we do is do what we already do , not buy the TBC. This puppy will be a local nonprofit in less than a year!


Don’t worry about the new ownership taking the newspaper to the left. The LA Times has a more in-depth piece today about who the new “buyer†works for. Just Google “Who are the mystery investors buying some of California’s last family-owned newspapers?†then read the story. Your minds should be put at ease (especially if you look into the names dropped in the story and their criminal backgrounds)


I'm deeply concerned over this news. I can only see (especially Canadian news people) that we will see a shift in our news. I am not nor will I subscribe to a liberal leaning news source. I enjoyed the way it was originally set up to stand in the middle & ensure that news was ACCURATE not fake. I will probably cancel my subscription after hearing what they have to say.


The Harrell-Fritts family issued a parting statement to Bakersfield much like MacArthur did to his troops at Corregidor..... "Bye"....


So . . . now this is a 'New' (Canadian Steven Malkowich-owned) Bako.com . . . ?
Isn't Canada 'socialist' . . . ?


This is horrible news. The paper is a quality local news production, accurately and thoroughly reflecting the culture of the Kern County community. It's only hoped that the writers (e.g., Price, Mayer, Beham) and staff will continue with their current positions.


Don’t look for Sound News Media (you’re not going to find it). Search instead for Canadian Steven Malkowich, Who has been acquiring a number of family-owned newspapers since (apparently) 2015, using different corporate names.

In 5 minutes of searches, I found he acquired the Lodi News-Sentinel in 2015 and the Antelope Valley Press in 2017, using the corporate name “Antelope Valley Press, Inc” (Editorandpublisher dot com, Sean Stroh, “With Roots in Their Communities, Local Newspaper Owners Find Ways to Flourish and Prosper” September 1, 2017

In October, 2018, he acquired “the Attleboro (Mass.) Sun Chronicle and its related publications and websites to Triboro Massachusetts News Media Inc., a new corporation formed by Canadian newspaper executive Steven Malkowich.” (Inlandpress dot .org, “Brown family’s UCC sells Massachusetts daily to Canadian publisher”)

So, who is the guy acquiring family-owned newspapers under a variety of corporate names?


Still have a crappy sports page!


Who is "Sound News Media"?


Doesn't matter "who they are" it just means the news will move even further to the left and the Liberal agenda will become more pronounced.

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