Gavilan, Paladin Strike Partnership Deal to Take Local Publications to the Next Level

Gary Sproule, Charles “Chuck” Champion, Carie Salter and Andy Salter form a new team at Gavilan Media, which includes the South Pasadena Review. Sproule and Champion started March 1. Mitch Lehman Photo

Paladin Capital Partners, LLC announced this week that it has become a partner in Gavilan Media and will manage the three Gavilan Media publications.

Paladin executives Charles “Chuck” Champion and Gary Sproule assumed leadership of the San Marino Tribune, South Pasadena Review and The Quarterly Magazine Friday, March 1. Both are accomplished newspaper executives with deep ties to Southern California. The two Paladin principals recently revitalized local news and publishing operations at the Santa Clarita Valley Signal.

Champion, who is president-elect of the California News Publishers Association, will act as president and publisher of the Gavilan publications. Sproule will serve as chief financial officer (CFO) and chief operating officer (COO).

Champion said that Paladin and Gavilan are eager to build on the respective platforms of the three publications. Gavilan’s workforce will remain entirely intact. The company currently employs a number of professionals across its editorial, advertising sales, circulation, digital and production departments.

“We believe in the critical role that journalism plays in community development,” he said. “It is the resource that ensures informed votes and meaningful connections in the community. The Tribune and Review are already go-to news sources in this community. We hope to build on that reputation to help widen the audience and become an even stronger vehicle for advertisers.”

Gavilan Co-owner Carie Salter said that the partnership with Paladin was the right step in the company’s evolution at this time.

“We needed people with strong print and digital management capabilities to help the combined Gavilan properties reach the next level,” she said. “Chuck and Gary have proven track records with daily circulation print publications and with the development of interactive digital media platforms. We are very excited that they are on board.”

Champion grew up in Southern California and started his newspaper career with the Valley News and Greensheet/Daily News of Los Angeles. He went on during his 35-year newspaper career to serve as an executive with the Orange County Register, Chicago Sun-Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, and Access Media, Inc. He also served as president and publisher of the Santa Clarita Valley Signal.

Sproule made his mark in digital media. He is the former CFO of Disney Interactive Studios and previously served as COO of and Magnet Interactive. He was also COO of Unocal’s 76 Retail Products Company where he was responsible for the “76” brand in 3,000 locations covering 23 states.

Sproule and Champion also built, an internet horse racing platform, into a billion-dollar business that was eventually acquired by Churchill Downs, Inc.

Gavilan Media owns and operates three local media properties in the San Gabriel Valley, including the San Marino Tribune, South Pasadena Review and The Quarterly Magazine.

Paladin Capital Partners, LLC is a California-based firm that advances media companies with targeted high growth prospects. The firm focuses on properties that have established readership, underdeveloped digital assets, and/or substantial online reach. The company’s objective is to provide management expertise and intellectual property resources as a way to facilitate expansion and commercial growth.