Three generations of newspaper publishing and ownership have come to an end for the Fuellenbach family in Richfield with the announced sale of The Richfield Reaper to Brehm Communications Inc. of Rancho Bernardo, Calif.
Mark Fuellenbach, the newspaper's third-generation publisher, will continue in that position for the new owner. The commercial printing aspect of the business will be retained by Fuellenbach under the name of Norman Printing. Staff members will continue employment with either The Reaper or Norman Printing.Fuellenbach praised his staff, saying their efforts "made The Reaper one of the great weekly newspapers in Utah."
The Richfield Reaper has been in the Fuellenbach family for 56 years, since it was purchased in 1934 by Joe Fuellenbach. He died nine months later and his wife, Rula, assumed the publisher role. She was faced with providing a living during the Depression era for her daughter and three sons, two of whom died in accidents.
When Mrs. Fuellenbach died in 1959, the publishing responsibility was assumed by a surviving son, Norman. Since his death in 1977, his wife, Marge, and son, Mark, have been co-publishers.
The Reaper is one of Utah's largest weekly newspapers, serving Sevier, Piute and Wayne counties. It will continue as an independent community weekly.
"We shall continue to work closely with the people and businesses of the area and dedicate ourselves to a publication of which they can be proud," promised Bill Brehm of Brehm Communications, whose headquarters are near San Diego. "A good newspaper is very important to every community and its success is dependent on the support it receives from the community in return."
Brehm said the new owner will continue the tradition of good community journalism.
New equipment and other expansion, including more employees, are expected under the new ownership. The business will be capable of doing more color work in the newspaper and printing for other newspaper clients.
Brehm Communications owns and operates daily, weekly, semi-weekly and tri-weekly newspapers in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Arizona, Nevada, California, and Utah. It also publishes the Daily Democrat in Iowa, where the corporation was founded in 1919.
The Reaper has reported community activities in south-central Utah since it was established in 1884.