KERA completes acquisition of The Denton Record-Chronicle, converts paper to nonprofit
KERA has officially acquired The Denton Record-Chronicle, Denton County’s primary source of local news.
As part of the acquisition through a wholly owned LLC subsidiary, the newspaper has converted to a nonprofit, within the KERA ecosystem, which also includes KERA TV, KERA News, KXT 91.7, and WRR 101.1. KERA first announced it was in the early stages of discussions to obtain the paper last year.
“We are so excited to preserve and grow The Denton Record-Chronicle,” says Nico Leone, President & CEO of KERA. “Our two organizations share a common goal and purpose in this partnership — to keep local news in local hands in Denton County. It really is an honor to take this step together.”
“I am so excited about the opportunity to grow community journalism with KERA,” says Bill Patterson, Publisher of The Denton Record-Chronicle. “This partnership is a win for our two organizations, but more importantly a win for the citizens of Denton and Denton County.”
With the acquisition, the two newsrooms will share resources and expertise for greater collaboration, not only maintaining reliable news in Denton County, but also making Denton news more accessible to a wider audience in North Texas. While subscribers of The Record-Chronicle can continue to receive news as they know it uninterrupted, this new phase offers exciting growth opportunities for both organizations. This collaboration will allow The Record-Chronicle’s staff to share reporting with the KERA newsroom, reach listeners on-air via KERA News 90.1, join podcasts and more.
“Adding new products such as podcasts and collaborative reporting will show a commitment to keeping our communities informed on local news, education, sports, business and go-and-do activities,” says Patterson.
In 2021, seeking a sustainable and trusted future for the paper, Patterson reached out to The National Trust for Local News to facilitate a path forward. Although The Trust has helped preserve and grow dozens of news organizations, the acquisition between KERA and The Record-Chronicle is unique. Few public media stations serve as an anchor for a local newspaper, making this a groundbreaking model for preserving local news nationwide.
“The potential for this model has no bounds,” says Leone. “Public media has a long legacy of trust and sustainability — and in an increasingly partisan news landscape, those traits are all the more valued. We’re incredibly excited about the promise of this model for newsrooms across the country, in addition to what it means here locally for Denton.”
KERA’s innovative collaborations are not limited to Denton County, however. KERA is the lead newsroom of the Texas public media hub, The Texas Newsroom, which fosters statewide collaboration by creating increased access to vital reporting across Texas. In 2022, KERA began a partnership with The Fort Wort Report to expand nonprofit news in Tarrant County. That same year, KERA and The Dallas Morning News partnered to launch Arts Access, a partnership committed to expanding arts and culture journalism across North Texas, through the lens of equity and access. And just earlier this year, KERA began managing WRR, the beloved, 102-year-old classical music station located in the heart of Fair Park.
With all its exciting partnerships and acquisitions, KERA has a steadfast presence not only in North Texas, but across the state. Together, these collaborations are allowing the associated newsrooms to be more embedded in the communities they serve.