KPC Mission Statement:
KPC “keeps people connected” with relevant news, marketing and other information shared in ways that engage and inspire.
KPC’s Core Values:
Employee development and well-being
High-quality news and information
Kendallville Publishing Co. Inc., the predecessor of KPC Media Group Inc., was founded by O. E. Michaelis and George W. Baxter after merging their Kendallville daily newspapers into the Kendallville News-Sun on Aug. 7, 1911. The company was sold to C. O. Merica in 1913. He died in 1918 and his wife, Alice Merica, became the principal owner of the company for the next half century. At the time of her death on Jan. 25, 1969, at the age of 103, she was the oldest newspaper publisher in the United States. George O. Witwer, who came to Kendallville as editor and general manager of The News Sun in 1962, became the principal owner and publisher in 1969. Witwer family members continue as the owners and operators of the company. Terry G. Housholder, who first went to work for the company while in high school in 1969, was president and publisher from 2001 to 2018, when he stepped down as publisher but remained president of the board. The company’s name changed to KPC Media Group Inc. in 2005, to reflect its expanded geographic market and additional products and services. The company’s main office is at 102 N. Main St., Kendallville, in the same building where the publishing firm was founded a century ago. The company’s other offices are in Auburn, Angola, Albion, Churubusco and Fort Wayne.
KPC Media Group Inc. remains a family-owned newspaper with family members still involved in day-to-day operations. It produces a variety of publications and websites. The following is a brief description and history of each:
The News Sun
The News Sun is the daily newspaper serving Noble and LaGrange counties in northeast Indiana. It traces its history back to the spring of 1859 or 1860 in Kendallville when Judson Palmiter began publication of the Noble County Journal, renamed the Kendallville Standard in 1870. In 1877, Dr. A.S. Parker launched a competitor to the Standard called the Weekly News. The two weeklies coexisted until 1898 when the publishers of the Standard hit the streets of Kendallville with the Daily Sun. Eight years later, in 1906, the Weekly News followed suit and began publication of the Daily News.
Daily competition existed in Kendallville for only five years. On Aug. 7, 1911, the Daily News and Daily Sun were consolidated into the Kendallville News-Sun. In 1965, the publishing company converted its letterpress printing operation to the offset process with the purchase of a four-unit press and folder. It was the third daily newspaper in Indiana to convert to the cold-type process. On July 2, 1984, with a redesign of the newspaper, the city name was dropped from the page one flag of The News Sun, reflecting the newspaper’s growing circulation area. On March 12, 2000, the newspaper added its Sunday edition. On April 6, 2009, it converted to a morning newspaper seven days a week.
Steve Garbacz, who has worked for KPC since 2015, is the managing editor of The News Sun.
The Star is the daily newspaper serving DeKalb County, Ind.. Its history reaches back into the 19th century. The Auburn Courier began publication as a weekly in 1871. Three years later, it found it had a competitor in the weekly Auburn Republican, renamed the Auburn Dispatch in 1885. They later merged.
In 1913, the Courier and Dispatch, a twice-a-week publication, became a daily named The Evening Star. The paper was owned and published by Verne Buchanan from 1916 until 1968, when it was purchased by Nixon Newspapers of Wabash, Indiana.
In December 1971, The Evening Star was purchased by KPC. On March 12, 2000, the newspaper added its Sunday edition. On April 6, 2009, it converted to a morning newspaper seven days a week. The newspaper’s name then became The Star.
David R. Kurtz is the editor of The Star.
The Herald Republican
The Herald Republican, serving Steuben County, Ind., traces its roots to the pre-Civil War publication, the Steuben Republican, first published in May 1857. The Angola Herald began publication as a Democratic newspaper in January 1876, as a counter to the Republican viewpoint. Both newspapers published continuously as separate newspapers, although printing of the two newspapers was consolidated in 1925 with the formation of the Steuben Printing Co. The two newspapers maintained separate ownership until the 1960s with the death of Angola Herald publisher and owner Harvey Morley. The Herald was then purchased by the Willis family, which had owned the Steuben Republican since 1907.
The Willis family continued to publish the Herald and the Republican weeklies separately until 1979 when the two newspapers merged, becoming the Herald-Republican. Then, in December 1982, the Willis family sold the Herald-Republican to Home News Enterprises of Columbus, Indiana. Home News expanded the newspaper to twice-weekly in April 1989, publishing first on Wednesdays and Fridays, and then Wednesdays and Saturdays, starting in September 1997.
KPC Media Group Inc. purchased the newspaper in August 2001, and expanded the paper on Sept. 12, 2001, to a daily newspaper.
The editor is Michael Marturello.
The Advance Leader
The Advance Leader, serving western Noble County, Ind., became part of KPC Media Group Inc. in May 1975. The weekly Cromwell Advance, founded in 1912 by Forrest Robbins, was purchased from Jim and Greta Wallace. The weekly Ligonier Leader, founded in 1880 by E.G. Thompson, was purchased from Norm Davis. The two mastheads were merged to form The Advance Leader, with the first issue published on May 14, 1975. The first co-editors were David Kurtz and Grace Witwer Housholder. The editor and general manager is Steve Garbacz, who joined KPC in 2015.
The Garrett Clipper
The Garrett Clipper, serving the Garrett and area community in southern DeKalb County, Ind., was purchased by KPC Media Group Inc. on Oct. 1, 1999, from Wayne and Pat Bartels. The Clipper of Garrett was formed in 1885 by A.J. Little and H. E. Little and is the oldest operating business in the city. The editor and publisher of The Clipper is Sue Carpenter, who joined KPC in 1974.
The Butler Bulletin
The Butler Bulletin, serving eastern DeKalb County, Ind., was purchased by KPC Media Group Inc. in December 2005, from publisher Joe Shelton, who founded the newspaper in 1976. The editor is Jeff Jones, who has worked for the weekly since 1985.
Albion New Era
The Albion New Era was founded in 1872 by Samuel E. Alvord, a native of Pennsylvania, who came to Noble County in 1849. He was a school teacher, lawyer, county clerk and journalist. The newspaper was sold to Jacob P. Prickett on Jan. 1, 1876. In 1896, the New Era was sold to J. E. Buchanan and then to Edwin L. Adair in 1903. Adair, an educator and former superintendent of Noble County schools, was the father of U.S. Rep. E. Ross Adair, who served northeast Indiana in Congress from 1951-1971. Richard C. Prickett, who was the longtime chief legislative aide to Congressman Adair, was owner and publisher of the New Era from 1940 until his death in 1978. Robert L. Allman took ownership of the company on Feb. 1, 1978. KPC acquired the paper in October 2014.
The Northwest News, serving the Huntertown, Arcola, Dupont and White Swan communities, was founded by Allman in August 1997. KPC acquired the paper in October 2014.
The Churubusco News was established by Robert L. Allman in August 1992. Among the other Churubusco newspapers that previously existed were the Tri-County Truth (1891-1990), the Busco Paper (1914-1936) and the Churubusco Weekly Herald (1881-1882). KPC acquired the paper in October 2014.
IN|Whitley County, a publication by KPC Media Group, is Whitley County's only free, all-local newspaper, which is delivered by mail to residents of Whitley County. The publication was launched by KPC in the spring of 2017.
Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly
The Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly, a newspaper dedicated to covering local and regional business news, debuted on March 14, 2005. It serves Fort Wayne and the 16-county region surrounding the Summit City. The editor is Lisa Long.
Times Community Publications – now IN|fort wayne Publications
The Times Community Publications, with free-distribution newspapers serving communities in Allen County, was purchased by KPC Media Group Inc. in December 2006, from founder Bill Fahlsing. The monthly publications serve five communities in Allen County: the Aboite area, New Haven, Northeast Allen County, Dupont area and downtown Fort Wayne.
The Smart Shopper
KPC has produced total-market-coverage print products since the mid-1970s. The Smart Shopper is a free newspaper and advertising publication that serves the residents in LaGrange, Noble, DeKalb and Steuben counties. This publication is delivered to more than 42,000 households every week.
KPC Phone Books & Directories
KPC has had a Phone Book Division since purchasing The Herald Republican in 2001. The previous owners had published the Steuben County phone book annually since 1986. In 2003, in addition to publishing the Steuben book, KPC published the first Noble/DeKalb County book. In 2004, KPC expanded to three books with a separate book for DeKalb County and a combined Noble/LaGrange County book.
In addition to the daily and weekly production of its own publications, KPC Media Group Inc. prints a wide variety of other publications on its high-speed Goss SSC 16 unit press with four-color capabilities. We offer printing on broadsheet, tabloid and mini-tab formats. Bindery, inserting and composition services are also offered.
KPC Direct (Direct Mail Services)
Direct mail is a fast, affordable way to grow and gain more customers when you only have a few seconds to get their attention. KPC Direct can deliver your message to a custom targeted list to ensure you reach your best potential customers with your newsletter, catalogue postcard and more. With superior customer service and unsurpassed expertise we can guide you through all of the intricacies of creating a direct mail campaign and get it delivered accurately, on time and at the lowest possible postage rate. Let us work with you to establish your business vision and with direct mail.