Our History

The history of The Ledger dates to Aug. 22, 1924, when Sam Farabee started The Lakeland Evening Ledger under the Ledger Publishing Co. Three years later, the Lakeland Ledger Publishing Co. bought one of its competitors, The Star-Telegram, which continued as a morning newspaper. A year later, when the owners figured out that running two papers from one plant wasn’t profitable, they merged the newspapers to form The Lakeland Ledger and Star-Telegram. In 1941, the name was shortened to The Lakeland Ledger. It was shortened further to The Ledger in 1967.

Several owners controlled the newspaper until 1970, when The New York Times Co. purchased it, newspapers in Ocala and Gainesville, and other media interests. It was sold again in January 2012, when Daytona Beach-based Halifax Media Group bought it and the other newspapers in The New York Times Regional Newspaper Group chain.  The most recent sale of Halifax Media Group to Gatehouse Media Group occurred in January 2015.

In 2015, GateHouse Media purchased Daytona Beach-based Halifax Media Group for $280 million. That deal included 35 newspapers across the country, including 15 newspapers and websites Halifax acquired from a 2010 purchase of the New York Times Regional Media Group. Many of those newspapers were in Florida, including the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Gainesville Sun, Ocala Star-Banner, the Daytona Beach News Journal, The Ledger and the News Chief. GateHouse also owns daily papers in Panama City and Fort Walton Beach in Florida.

The newspaper went through many changes through the years, returning to a morning edition in April 1979. In 1998 it started its website, www.theledger.com the same year it moved into its new building on Lime Street in Lakeland.

Two years after moving into the new building The Ledger added color to all of its section fronts, thanks to increased capacity on two printing presses. It now uses those presses to print products for a variety of outside sources, including The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Since then, the newspaper has purchased its competition to the east, the News Chief, which now falls under the Ledger Media Group umbrella along with print products such as Polk Life magazine. It also owns a host of newspaper-related web sites, such as TimeoutPolk.com, Polkpreps.com, PoliticsinPolk.com, and PolkOutdoors.com.

Between our print products, our news website and our corporate partners at ThriveHive, Ledger Media Group can offer the best and most comprehensive marketing services in Central Florida.

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