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."