The Santa Clarita Valley Signal
The Santa Clarita Valley Signal is a news media organization in Santa Clarita, California founded in 1919 as a weekly, the Newhall Signal. From c.1979 to 2016, the Signal was owned by Savannah, Georgia-based Morris Multimedia, who sold it to Paladin Multi-Media Group. The current owners are Richard and Chris Budman, who purchased Paladin in June 2018. The sale attracted controversy because the couple had frequently espoused rightwing conspiracy theories and engaged in incendiary fringe rhetoric.
|Type||News media and broadcasting|
|Owner(s)||Richard and Chris Budman|
|Managing editors||Perry R. Smith|
|Sports editor||Haley Sawyer|
|Staff writers||Jim Holt, Caleb Lunetta, Emily Alvarenga, Vivianna Shields, Diego Marquez, Haley Sawyer, Tammy Murga and Matt Fernandez|
|Headquarters||26330 Diamond Place|
Santa Clarita, California 91350
The Signal covers the five communities that eventually became Santa Clarita, about 30 miles (48 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles. By 2018, it was the only newspaper serving the city.
Morris Multimedia, based in Savannah, Georgia and led by chairman Charles H. Morris, owned the Signal for thirty-seven years. In January 2016, Morris Multimedia sold The Signal to Paladin Multimedia Group. Charles F. Champion, the Signal' new president and publisher, said he wanted to "build on the paper's award winning news platform", attract more local advertisements and a "wider audience". At that time the forty "editorial, advertising sales, circulation, digital and production departments" staff members retained their jobs. Champion's business partners were Gary Sproule, Russ Briley and Ken DePaola. As reported by Business Wire, Paladin purchased the Signal in "an era of personalized news consumption" when "community newspapers are more influential than ever. They represent the confluence of technology and content at a hyper local level." Champion said that, "We need to be the area's first resource for news and commerce...That means we have to be insightful reporters as well community advocates."
Richard Budman, who had been the Signal publisher under Morris Media from 2004 to 2007, and his wife Chris Budman, purchased the Signal in June 2018.
Tim Whyte, who had worked with Budman as the Signal' general manager until 2007, returned as editor-in-chief in 2018. Whyte writes all the editorials for the daily. In 2018, along with the five-day edition, the Signal began to publish a new Sunday magazine with free distribution to 75,000 households, featuring a "bylined column" entitled "Black and Whyte" by Whyte.
According to an October 9, 2018 article in the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR), concerns have been raised that under new management, the Signal's editorials, opinion pieces, articles and omissions, have been a polarizing factor in SCV. Budman denies these allegations. According to a July 24, 2018 article in The Daily Beast, "After the Budmans bought the paper, Santa Clarita Valley residents combed the couple’s social media accounts and found the right-wing conspiracies along with Chris declaring her intention to actively promote the Republican Party in the valley."
- Frazin, Rachel (July 24, 2018). "Santa Clarita Valley Signal's New Owners Boosted Far-Right Conspiracies". The Daily Beast. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
- "Former publisher buys The Signal". California News Publishers Association (CNPA). Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- "Paladin Multi-Media Group to acquire Santa Clarita Valley Signal". Santa Clarita, California. December 15, 2015. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
- Schaff, Jason (June 2018). "The Signal sold to former publisher". The Santa Clarita Valley Signal. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
- Aushenker, Michael (June 8, 2018). "Santa Clarita Valley Signal Sold to Former Publisher". San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
- Darrach, Amanda (October 9, 2018). "Both Sides Now: When a California town's newspaper gets troubling new owners, critics start their own". Columbia Journalism Review (CJR). Retrieved October 9, 2018.