The Guthrie News Leader, one of the oldest publishing newspapers in Oklahoma, has recently been purchased by Stidham Media Group Holdings, LLC, a family owned company run by Juder and Rochelle Stidham.
Rochelle Stidham has a proven track record of running newspapers in Kentucky, Texas, Tennessee and Oklahoma for nearly 20 years. She’s been in the newspaper business for 34 years and hasn’t looked back since her first newspaper job in classified advertising at the Del Rio News-Herald, in Del Rio, Texas. She was the publisher of the Guthrie News Leader in 2016 and 2017.
“We feel very fortunate that the Guthrie News Leader will be in such capable hands as the Stidham’s. American Hometown Publishing has been honored to oversee one of the oldest newspapers in Oklahoma and know the new partnership will be a huge success,” said Lyle Beasley, managing partner of West End Holdings, which formerly owned American Hometown Publishing.
“With the help of the Guthrie team we are here to give back and to grow partnerships with local government agencies, nonprofits and, of course, the business community. But helping people is at the heart of what we do; it’s what a newspaper is all about,” Rochelle said.
Juder Stidham has owned and operated several businesses throughout his career — from rental cars to expediting services.
Juder came from a family-owned business background and worked at his family’s car dealership in Corbin, Ky in the 1980s. Juder said his father taught him the value of excellent customer service at an early age.
“The most important thing I learned from my dad was how to take care of customers. He always said that it didn’t matter whether someone spends $2 on a car part or $20,000 on a vehicle; you always take care of your customers. And that’s how I’ve always run my businesses,” he said. “I’m a hands-on kind of guy and serve my customers no matter the issue, the time of day or the lengths to which a problem needs solving.”
The Stidham’s have three children: Juder (the 4th) is a 25-year-old software engineer for J.P. Morgan and lives in Plano, Texas. Jarrett, 23, is the back-up quarterback behind Tom Brady for the New England Patriots and Rochelle’s oldest son Dustin, 37, is a property manager in San Antonio, Texas, Rochelle’s hometown.
The operations in Guthrie will remain under the leadership of Karan Ediger, publisher.
“We are excited to be a part of a family-owned company. The fact that the Stidham’s have worked in Guthrie and have formed relationships with both the community and our team is a win/win situation. We are excited about the partnership,” stated Ediger.