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Weekly Grit newspaper sold

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- The Grit newspaper, a 101-year-old national weekly tabloid with a circulation over 700,000, has been sold to Stauffer Communications Inc. of Topeka, Kan., it was announced Thursday.

It marked the second time in two years ownership of the nationally distributed newspaper has changed hands.

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Stauffer Communications acquired the Grit Publishing Co. and the affiliated ADVO Print Inc. from ADVO Systems Inc. of Hartford, Conn., for an undisclosed sum.

ADVO Systems purchased The Grit in March 1981 from the Lamade family, which ran the newspaper for 97 years.

SCI president Stanley Stauffer, who made the surprise announcement with ADVO Systems president John Valentine, said Grit and ADVO Print would become part of his firm's new national media division.

SCI publishes the 105-year-old Capper's Weekly, a Topeka-based bi-weekly tabloid with a paid circulation of 416,000.

'We are extremely pleased to add the Grit publications and ADVO Print to Stauffer Communications,' said Stauffer. 'They fit well with the Capper operations, which the company has had since 1957.'

SCI owns 20 daily newspapers, five radio stations and two television stations in 10 states. It also operates the Kansas City Royals baseball radio network and owns one-half of a cable TV system in Armarillo, Texas.

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Grit, in addition to its weekly newspaper with a circulation of 711,000, publishes a Sunday newspaper and television viewing guide for distribution in the Williamsport area.

Stauffer said E. Van Anderson, SCI vice president in charge of the Capper division since 1980, would manage the Grit and ADVO Print. There will be no other changes in the Williamsport operations, he said.

Valentine said ADVO Systems sold Grit and ADVO Print so it could concentrate on principal business as a direct-mail printer and distributor.

'We believe Stauffer Communications is the right company to own and manage Grit and ADVO Print,' said Valentine.

In addition to its media holdings, SCI also operates a retail travel agency, an insurance company, an alarm company and a computer sales organization.

The circulation of Grit, which was founded in 1882, peaked in 1962 at 1.5 million and declined steadily until 1980, when it sank to about 650,000.

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