Chino weeklies sold

Will Fleet (2005 CNPA president) and Ralph Alldredge (2011 CNPA president) have purchased the Chino Champion and Chino Hills Champion from Champion Publications, owned primarily by Allen McCombs (1982 CNPA president). The change in ownership will be effective Feb. 1.

The Chino Champion began publishing in 1887, with McCombs as owner for the past 60 years. Total circulation of the Chino newspapers is 41,000.

Fleet and Alldredge are owners and co-publishers of the Tracy Press, Patterson Irrigator and Scotts Valley Press-Banner in Northern California. Alldredge owns the Calaveras Enterprise. All are weekly newspapers serving suburban or rural communities. The Fleet-Alldredge legal entity that purchased Champion Newspapers is Golden State Newspapers LLC.

“Under Al McCombs, the Champion has earned a reputation for top notch community journalism and public service,” Fleet said. “We look forward to continuing this tradition.”

Bruce Wood was named co-publisher in 2000 along with McCombs, who served as editor and publisher from 1956 to 2006. Wood took over as publisher of the newspaper operation in 2006, and McCombs remains active, writing a column and serving as editor of the editorial pages.

McCombs and Wood offered a joint statement: “During the last 60 years we have built the 130-year-old Champion into one of the strongest independent community weeklies in the state. In order to continue this legacy, at a time when the operation exceeds the ability of the McCombs family to continue them, we have sought out new owners who would keep the newspapers as a vital part of life in the Chino Valley community. Both Will Fleet and Ralph Alldredge have a long history of operating community newspapers, and are doing so now in Northern California. We have faith that they will continue the Champion newspapers as a vital part of local life.”

Fleet said both McCombs and Wood would remain involved after the sale, with McCombs continuing his weekly column and Wood assisting in various capacities.