Victoria Advocate owners buy Tyler Morning Telegraph

LONGVIEW and VICTORIA, TEXAS, November 28, 2018 – The Tyler Morning Telegraph is being acquired by M. Roberts Media, the parent company of the Victoria Advocate.

M. Roberts Media also owns the daily newspapers the Longview News-Journal and the Marshall News Messenger and the twice-weekly Panola Watchman in Carthage. These newspapers form an East Texas media company with unparalleled reach across the region, M. Roberts Media officials said in announcing the deal Wednesday.

Terms of the deal, which is expected to close Friday, were not disclosed.

Stephen N. McHaney, president of M. Roberts Media and publisher of the News-Journal, said the arrangement cements the Tyler and Longview newspapers’ place as the dominant media players in the region while opening new avenues for them to better serve East Texas through print, digital and face-to-face media.

“The Tyler Morning Telegraph has been owned by an East Texas family for five generations, and it’s a great pleasure to be able to continue that tradition through this merger,” McHaney said. “Together, we will better serve our readers with enhanced local and regional news coverage and our advertising and business partners with marketing and advertising vehicles with unparalleled reach across East Texas. This is a good day for our region.”

Nelson Clyde III, president and publisher of T.B. Butler Publishing Co., which owns the Tyler Morning Telegraph, said that the two family-owned companies were a great fit and that readers, advertisers and employees of his newspaper would be well-served under M. Roberts Media.

“My family and Stephen’s have a long history of cooperation and respect for each other, and I’m pleased to be handing off this great newspaper to a family that’s in the business for the right reasons,” Clyde said. “Those reasons are to advocate for our communities and serve our advertising partners while building a stronger business for our employees and their families.”

The newspapers have ties stretching back decades. Those include a connection to Texas Gov. James S. Hogg, who worked for the Tyler Democrat and founded the Longview News before entering politics. Hogg later employed T.B. Butler in his Tyler law offices.

Butler acquired the Tyler newspaper in 1910 and the company that publishes it is named for him. Another historical connection is through Carl L. Estes, who long owned and published the Longview newspapers that combined to become the News-Journal.

Estes was editor of the Tyler paper until 1934, when he acquired the newspapers in Longview.

Chris Cobler, Victoria Advocate editor and publisher, said the news is exciting for the Crossroads, too. The larger parent company will strengthen the 172-year-old Advocate, he said.

For example, Butler Creative Group, the Morning Telegraph’s digital marketing and website design business, is part of the acquisition and will fit well with Advocate Digital Services.

“This demonstrates, yet again, our family owners’ commitment to their communities,” Cobler said. “We can’t wait to see what the future will bring.”


M. Roberts Media brings together leading South and East Texas media companies

LONGVIEW and VICTORIA, TEXAS, June 10, 2017 – M. Roberts Media announced new and expanded roles Saturday for the publishers of the Victoria Advocate and Longview News-Journal and creation of a new position to oversee its growing publishing business.

Stephen N. McHaney, president of the family-owned company and publisher in Longview, and Dan Easton, publisher in Victoria, announced they have been elected to the board of directors and are taking on broader roles.

Beginning this week, day-to-day operations of the publishing companies will be overseen by Dick Franks in the newly created position of chief executive officer.

“This is a new chapter in our long company history,” McHaney said, “one that I believe positions us well to continue to grow and evolve.”

McHaney and Easton will retain their respective publisher titles and their involvement in the editorial voices of the Longview and Victoria newspapers.

McHaney, who will continue as president of M. Roberts Media Finance and Services, will focus on mergers, acquisitions and finance.

Easton’s focus, meanwhile, will be on the digital services and agency side of the business as president of Advocate Digital Media, which is being spun off as an independent operating division.

Franks, who began this week with M. Roberts Media, has a long history in the media industry and has been instrumental in the growth of multiple organizations. As CEO of M. Roberts Media Publishing, he will oversee the print and digital publishing and events operations in Victoria, Longview, Marshall and Carthage. He will also oversee the commercial printing division, TCM Printing.

“With the help, ideas, the involvement and support of the family and board, we will strive to ensure the growth and success of these important properties in these challenging times,” Franks said. “We will continue the important mission; we have to provide interesting, important, credible and accountable products to our readers, our advertising partners and the greater communities we serve.”

Franks most recently was president and CEO of Open Sky Media, a magazine published in Austin. Previously, he was CEO of American Community Newspapers and has been with other newspaper companies across the country, including Dispatch Printing Co. in Ohio, the Eagle Tribune Cos. in Massachusetts and Westward Communications in Houston.


New company increases efficiency across diverse set of operations

     LONGVIEW and VICTORIA, TEXAS, SEPT. 28, 2015 – The families that own the leading community daily newspapers in South and East Texas have formed a new company to operate a broad range of media businesses under a single umbrella.

     M. Roberts Media combines the South Texas companies formerly known as Victoria Advocate Publishing Company and the East Texas companies formerly known as Texas Community Media.

     “Bringing our South Texas and East Texas operations under the same umbrellas will be seamless for our customers,” said Stephen N. McHaney, president of the new family owned company and publisher of the Longview News-Journal. “The move is aimed primarily at increasing efficiency behind the scenes.”

     M. Roberts Media traces its roots to Morris Roberts, who was among a group of Victoria businessmen that acquired the Victoria Advocate in 1942. In 1961, Roberts purchased all stock and became sole owner of the Advocate. He shared ownership with his son, John M. Roberts, who is chairman of the board, and daughter, Catherine R. McHaney, who is secretary-treasurer.

     The third generation of family leadership is embodied in Stephen N. McHaney, Roberts’ grandson, and Dan Easton, who is married to Roberts’ granddaughter and is publisher of the Victoria Advocate.

     Though its roots are in newspapers, M. Roberts Media is a multimedia and marketing solutions company delivering a variety of solutions for consumers and advertisers across print, digital and face-to-face platforms. 


For more information, please contact Stephen McHaney at (903) 237-7700.