The News-Item aligns with Towanda; Zyla returns as publisher
SHAMOKIN - Greg Zyla is returning to his role as publisher of The News-Item effective Oct. 1.
Zyla will also remain in his position as president of Towanda Printing Co., and The News-Item will now operate under the Towanda umbrella.
The new alliance is being established after Times-Shamrock Communications announced in August that it is marketing for sale four of its daily newspapers, a number of weekly papers and its alternative weeklies.
The News-Item and the Towanda Daily & Sunday Review are among the dailies being sold, and so the decision was made to align the two papers administratively.
In turn, The News-Item will slowly unwind its alliance with the (Pottsville) Republican Herald, a jointure that has existed since 2005 and, since 2008, has been under the leadership of Publisher Henry H. Nyce.
However, with both the Shamokin and Pottsville newspapers still under Times-Shamrock ownership, shared news content, including two shared sections in the Sunday edition, will continue unchanged between The News-Item and Republican Herald. Also, as was the case when the sale was announced Aug. 26, there will be no changes to The News-Item's advertising and circulation operations.
Zyla was publisher at The News-Item from 2000 to 2008 before being promoted to the Towanda post. He started his career at the Shamokin paper in 1973.
The Lynett family, owner of Times-Shamrock, decided to market some of its properties while it looks to diversify its holding and reinvest in its core northeast Pennsylvania market, which includes its daily newspapers in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton and Pottsville.
Times-Shamrock purchased The News-Item in 1997. It has been affiliated even longer with Towanda, having purchased that newspaper and its commercial printing operation in 1977.
Other dailies being marketed for sale by Times-Shamrock are the Petersburg (Va.) Progress-Index and the Virgin Islands Daily News.
Weeklies for sale include The Citizen-Standard, a newspaper in Valley View, Schuylkill County, that's long been affiliated with The News-Item; a number of publications in northeastern Pennsylvania and southern New York that operate under the Community Newspaper Group banner and are headed by Zyla out of Towanda; and the company's alternative newsweeklies: City Paper, Baltimore, Md., the Orlando (Fla.) Weekly, the San Antonio (Texas) Current, the Cleveland (Ohio) Scene and the MetroTimes, Detroit, Mich.
The sale process is being handled by Cribb, Green and Associates, a leading merger and acquisition firm in the U.S. newspaper industry.