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Overview The Belleville News-Democrat was founded in 1858. In 1883, the Weekly Democrat merged with the Belleville News and has carried the name Belleville News-Democrat for 125 years. The newspaper celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2008.

Ownership of the News-Democrat changed often during the latter half of the 19th century, but publishing never ceased. In 1891, Fred J. Kern purchased the business. Upon his death, his sons took over the family newspaper in a partnership that lasted until 1972, when they sold the News-Democrat to Capital Cities Communications, Inc., a multimedia corporation. At the time, the paper was Monday-through-Friday afternoon publication. Cap Cities upgraded the production equipment and expanded editorial content. A Sunday morning edition was added in 1976. The News-Democrat became a seven-day-a-week morning paper on January 1, 1984.

In March 1985, Cap Cities purchased the American Broadcasting Co., Inc. (ABC). In February of 1996, ABC merged with the Walt Disney Co. The News-Democrat and its weekly publications became part of a wholly owned subsidiary called ABC, Inc.

In May 1997, Knight Ridder purchased the News-Democrat and its weekly publications. On June 27, 2006, the Belleville News Group became part of the McClatchy Co.

The McClatchy Company is the third largest newspaper company in the United States, with 31 daily newspapers, approximately 50 non-dailies and direct marketing and direct mail operations. McClatchy also operates leading local websites in each of its markets which complement its newspapers and extend its audience reach in each market. Together with its newspapers and direct marketing products, these operations make McClatchy the leading local media company in each of its premium high growth markets


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