GREENWICH -- The Greenwich Journal newspaper’s streak of continuously publishing for 171 years will live on.
The weekly paper’s owners announced last week it would be shutting down because of the arrest of its editor, but it has been bought by Greenwich resident Peter Gregg, owner of public relations firm Atticus Communications. The price was not disclosed.
Gregg said the staff was “scrambling” to put out an issue this week so the paper (formally known as the Greenwich Journal and Salem Press) will not lose its streak of having published continuously since 1842.
Longtime owner Sally Tefft, who is in her 90s, will remain affiliated with the paper, he said. The paper’s two employees will also keep their jobs, he said.
For Gregg, the purchase completes an effort he started nearly 14 years ago, when he approached Tefft about buying the paper shortly after he opened his business in Greenwich.
Tefft was not interested in selling at that point, nor again when they discussed the issue again in 2005.
“I’ve always wanted to have something local to sink my teeth into,” Gregg said.
But with the recent arrest and jailing of Sally Tefft’s son, Timothy Tefft, on child pornography, the paper carried an announcement in its issue last week, indicating it would be ceasing publication, effective immediately. Timothy Tefft will not have any involvement with the paper, Gregg said.
It was clear to Gregg that Greenwich residents wanted the paper to keep going.
“There was a huge rallying cry from the community to keep it going,” he said.
Gregg said he plans some editorial, design and technological improvements for the paper, including adding color to what has been a black-and-white publication.
Atticus Communication’s staff publishes a number of agriculture-themed newspapers and websites.
“We have the infrastructure in place to take this on,” he said. “We don’t want to do anything too dramatic, but there will be some welcome improvements.”
He said he believed that the paper is in an area that is doing well economically and can support the Journal.
“Across the nation, weekly newspapers are still thriving and it’s because of the local coverage they provide that you can’t get anywhere else,” he said.
Gregg said Tefft insisted that the paper remain a broadsheet.
Tefft owns the Route 29 building that houses the paper’s office, along with decades of archives and old printing equipment. The paper was printed on site until the early 1990s, he said.
“It’s the chronicle of history of southern Washington County in the basement of the building,” he said.
Tefft would not discuss the situation Tuesday.
Greenwich Mayor David Doonan said the news that the paper will continue publishing was welcome around town.
“I know a lot of people were very upset when they heard it was going to close,” he said.