209 Multimedia Corporation, which owns the Ceres Courier, announced last week the purchase of the Gustine Press Standard and Westside Index newspapers from Mattos Newspapers. The two newspapers, along with their websites and commercial printing operations, expands 209 Multimedia’s holdings from Manteca in San Joaquin County, through Oakdale, Ceres and Turlock in Stanislaus County and now Gustine in Merced County.
“We firmly believe that local community news organizations remain vital to our subscribers as the trusted local source for news and information. We provide a forum for community discussion, public notices, obituaries, wedding engagements, sporting/community events, service organizations and everything else in-between. We are committed to fostering that environment while meeting the needs of all of our dedicated advertisers and subscribers,” said Hank Vander Veen, who along with his wife Kelly Vander Veen, own 209 Multimedia.
The Vander Veens have deep roots in the Valley.
Hank Vander Veen has been group publisher of the Ceres, Manteca, Oakdale and Turlockpapers in the Valley for almost a decade. Kelly Vander Veen has a background in digital management, commercial printing as well as newspapers. As owners, they oversee the operations and are responsible for all aspects of the business. This includes editorial, content, production and financial responsibility for six newspapers, several magazines and a digital services agency.
They are owners of the Ceres Courier, Manteca/Ripon Bulletin, Turlock Journal, Oakdale Leader, Escalon Times and Riverbank News. They also own and publish 209 Magazine and several other specialty publications. 209 Multimedia publishes websites for all of its publications, has a video production studio and provides digital services for advertisers, including building and hosting their websites. 209 Multimedia has an extensive commercial printing operation printing 10-15 other newspapers and magazines each week.
Hank Vander Veen spent 25 years with The McClatchy Company, six years as publisher at the Merced Sun-Star. He started at the Modesto Bee in 1984 as a part time driver and worked his way through different management positions learning many aspects of the business along the way.
Kelly Vander Veen grew up in the commercial printing industry as her dad owned Lone Tree printing in Ceres. She worked there for many years learning the ins and outs of the business. Kelly Vander Veen also worked at The Modesto Bee in the finance department. Over the past 15 years she has managed several digital platforms for companies including Wikia.
209 Multimedia has three offices and a team including four editors that live and work in the communities they cover and have been doing so for more than 80 combined years. 209 Multimedia prints all of its publications at their printing facility in Manteca. Current staff from Mattos Newspapers will transfer over to the new company and we will maintain the office building on Fresno Street in Newman.
The West Side Index started publication well over 100 years ago in 1890; two years after Simon Newman had founded Newman. The Gustine Standard began publishing in 1910, three years after the sale of lots was held in what would become Gustine.
The Standard merged in 1995 with the Gustine Press, which Mattos Newspapers had started 10 years earlier.
Susan Mattos began her career with the newspaper and printing business in 1978, and has been publisher of the Index and Press-Standard since 2004. She has carried forward the commitment to community journalism, with an emphasis on accuracy, accountability, objectivity and fairness and has expanded the commercial printing business from a simple one-color press operation to a multi-faceted company — commitments Vander Veen aims to continue.
“We are so pleased to have such a distinguished company step in to continue the long tradition of quality local journalism on the West Side,” Publisher Susan Mattos reflected. “Hank and Kelly share the same locally-focused values and high standards our readers have come to expect, and for that I am so grateful.”
209 Multimedia Corporation will continue the 132-year tradition of focusing on local coverage of the communities it serves as its most important mission.