Known for its thorough news coverage of the 26 communities south of Boston, The Patriot Ledger has won numerous international, national and regional newspaper and public service awards over the years. It was named the New England Press Association's Newspaper of the Year for 2005 and 2006.
The paper was founded on Jan. 7, 1837, as the weekly Quincy Patriot by John Adams Green and Edmund Butler Osborne.
The Quincy Patriot was the hometown paper of President John Quincy Adams, a frequent writer of letters to the editor after he left the White House and became a congressman.
The longest-running family ownership began in 1852 when George Washington Prescott went to work for the paper as a carrier. He later bought the newspaper.
In 1890, Prescott started The Quincy Daily Ledger, continuing The Patriot as a weekly. In 1916, the weekly and daily were merged into The Quincy Patriot Ledger. The paper later expanded to serve communities throughout the South Shore.
In the 1950s, the paper became a pioneer in newspaper production. Early experimentation led to development of the first practical photo-typesetting machine. Newspaper executives from throughout the world visited the paper to learn about the new process.
The Patriot Ledger was also among the first papers in the nation to establish zoned editions for local news and advertising, exchanging journalists with foreign countries, transmitting news copy and page layouts by facsimile, using a front-end computer editing system, installing a two-way radio system for spot news coverage, pioneering the use of 35-millimeter photography and setting up a "little merchants" carrier system.
In 1979, G.W. Prescott Publishing Co. bought the Memorial Press Group and the Old Colony Memorial of Plymouth, Mass.
The Patriot Ledger moved from its longtime editorial and business office location in downtown Quincy to the Crown Colony Office Park in South Quincy in 1988.
The newspaper was sold in 1997 to Newspaper Media LLC, which also owned The Enterprise in Brockton. It was bought by GateHouse Media in 2006.
Headquartered in Fairport, N.Y., GateHouse is one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the country as measured by its 86 daily publications. GateHouse serves local audiences of about 10 million per week across 21 states through 400 community publications and 350 local websites. The company also owns Propel Marketing, a provider of digital services to small and mid-sized companies.
In September 2013, an affiliate of the principal shareholder of GateHouse Media,Fortress Investment Group, purchased the Dow Jones Local Media Group. Among the eight daily and 25 weekly publications included in the sale were the Cape Cod Times, the Standard Times of New Bedford and the Portsmouth (N.H.) Herald. GateHouse manages all of those publications.
In November 2013, GateHouse emerged from prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, less than two months after filing to restructure $1.2 billion of debt that was scheduled to come due in August 2014. The company is now owner by New Media Investment Group Inc.
Michael Reed, director and chief executive officer of GateHouse, said the bankruptcy filing was a strategic decision to facilitate this restructuring, and GateHouse was able to continue operations while in Chapter 11 without disruption.
Pension, trade and all other unsecured creditors of GateHouse were not affected. Secured lenders, whose debt was cancelled under the plan, received choice of shares in New Media or a 40 percent cash distribution. The publicly traded shares of GateHouse were cancelled, with shareholders receiving warrants for New Media stock.
Kirk Davis is chief executive officer of GateHouse New England. Sean Burke is the publisher of The Patriot Ledger and The Enterprise, and Chazy Dowaliby is the editor.
The Patriot Ledger prices are: $1.00 Monday-Friday, $2.00 Saturday.