header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Santa Clarita CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
Today in
S.C.V. History
May 15
1969 - Board of Trustees selects "College of the Canyons" name [story]

Publisher Russell Briley and two partners are buying The Signal newspaper, giving it local ownership for the first time in 37 years.

The Signal announced the transaction on its website Tuesday evening. Rumored for weeks, the ownership change is expected to take effect Jan. 1.

According to The Signal, Briley said longtime owner Charles Morris’ Georgia-based company, Morris Multimedia, approached him several months ago and asked whether he was interested in buying the paper.

The Signal said Briley, 60, of Castaic, and two colleagues will be “equal partners in the new ownership structure.”

Charles F. Champion, described as a “seasoned newspaper executive,” will become president and publisher, while Champion’s “longtime business partner” Gary Sproule will serve as chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

Briley’s role will be executive vice president of “community relations and audience development.”

Champion reportedly said the new partnership, Paladin Multi-Media Group Inc., “intends to retain most of The Signal’s current employees.”

The Signal didn’t release a sales price, and Briley couldn’t be reached Tuesday evening by phone.

Champion has been in the publishing business since the 1970s. An Internet search listed him in a number of management and executive positions with the Daily News of Los Angeles, the Orange County Register, the Sun-Times Co. of Chicago and Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.

More recently, Champion and Sproule founded YouBet.com, a leading provider of information technology services related to online parimutuel horse race wagering. According to The Signal, they built it “into a billion-dollar business that was eventually acquired by Churchill Downs.”

Sproul’s LinkedIn profile shows current employment with two financial services firms, CFOPlans and Paladin Capital Partners. Previous employers include Mobile Messenger, specializing in the marketing of content to mobile telephone devices, and he served as CFO of Disney Interactive Studios and COO of WhatsHotNow.com and Unocal’s 76 Retail Products Co.

More familiar to Santa Clarita Valley residents is Briley, a 35-year veteran of the Daily News of Los Angeles. After serving as circulation manager for the Ventura County Star, he joined The Signal in September 2012 and worked his way up from director of product sales to general manager in August 2013 and finally publisher.

Briley has been heavily involved with the Castaic community through service on the Castaic Area Town Council (1997-2001), the Castaic Chamber board (1998-2001) and the Castaic Lion’s Club. He was named Castaic Man of the Year in 1998.

Joining the three partners on the board of Paladin Multi-Media are Joseph Barletta, former CEO of the Chronicle Co., publishers of the San Francisco Chronicle; Thomas Culligan, consultant, former chief revenue officer of the Washington Times and an executive with the Chicago Tribune; and Robert Brierley, a growth strategy consultant and currently president of Aircuity Inc. in Newton, Mass., The Signal said.

According to The Signal, Charles H. Morris, who founded Morris Multimedia in Savannah, Geo., in 1970, said he is pleased to put the paper in the hands of “people who care deeply about the editorial product and are prepared to help The Signal move to the next level in today’s complex market for media services.”

“Chuck Champion and his team are poised to lead The Signal to a very successful future and we wish them well,” Morris said in a statement.

Morris purchased The Signal in 1978 from longtime publishers and editors Scott and Ruth Newhall, who stayed on with the paper until 1988 when their 10-year noncompete agreement expired. They immediately launched a rival newspaper from an office around the corner on Valencia Boulevard – the thrice-weekly SCV Citizen, which lasted about eight months.

At 37 years, Morris’ ownership has been the longest, surpassing that of the Trueblood family, who owned the paper for 25 years from the late 1930s to early 1960s.

The Signal was founded in Newhall on Feb. 7, 1919, as a weekly. Today it’s published daily from Tuesday to Saturday with updated online content at SignalSCV.com.



Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.


  1. Roger says:

    Congratulation and GOOD LUCK.

  2. Shay Taylor Shay Taylor says:

    Jill Hitchcock Brown

  3. Cathy says:

    Congratulations, a local paper once again!

Leave a Comment

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1969 - Board of Trustees selects "College of the Canyons" name [story]
The city of Santa Clarita Planning Commission is scheduled to conduct a public hearing Tuesday to further deliberate on the Sand Canyon Resort development.
Sand Canyon Resort Development Returns to Planning Commission
The CIF Southern Section and KAP7 International, Inc. announced a five-year partnership extension for KAP7 to be the official boys and girls water polo ball for all championship events.
KAP7, CIF-SS Announce Extension of Five-Year Ball Partnership
Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a plan that would spend about $1.5 billion of the state’s $75.7 billion surplus in grants of up to $25,000 to support small businesses, according to state officials this week.
Chamber Urges SCV to Support Newsom’s Aid to Small Businesses
On Friday, Los Angeles County Public Health officials confirmed 17 new deaths and 583 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 27,842 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: Studies Show Vaccine Appears to Be Effective Against Variants; 27,842 Total SCV Cases
Fourteen-year-old Andrew Jenofsky was the first in line to get his shot at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Thursday morning, as adolescents ages 12-15 were given the go-ahead to get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
14-Year-Old First to Receive Pfizer Vaccine at Henry Mayo
Support for Israel was written across the signs and faces of approximately 100 demonstrators during a rally held on City Hall’s steps Thursday evening.
Approximately 100 SCV Residents Gather to Support Israel
The city of Santa Clarita received approximately 850 applications for its rental assistance program ahead of the program’s April 30 application deadline.
City Receives More Than 800 Rental Assistance Applications
Saddleback Butte State Park announced it is urgently searching for volunteers to become camp hosts beginning June 1.
Camp Hosts Needed at Saddleback Butte State Park, New Updates Announced for Mojave Area State Parks
Los Angeles County Public Health officials said it will review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's newly released guidance for fully vaccinated residents in order to make adjustments to the current County and state guidelines.
LA County to Review CDC’s Masking Guidelines for Fully Vaccinated People
The city of Santa Clarita released an updated schedule for the Concerts in the Park series set to take place in July and August.
City Releases Updated Schedule for Concerts in the Park
1874 - Outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez captured in Hollywood Hills [story]
Tiburcio Vasquez
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidance Thursday indicating that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely resume activities that were done prior to the pandemic.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: CDC Loosens Mask Restrictions for Fully Vaccinated People; SCV Cases Total 27,825
A total of 277 single-family homes changed owners during April in the Santa Clarita Valley as the as the tight inventory rose to its highest level in five months, though remained well below year-ago totals, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Thursday.
SCV Median Home Price $795,000 Hits Record
After making numerous requests for correction for failure by the County Board of Supervisors to abide by various sections of the Brown Act, the Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment was left with no option than to file a formal legal complaint.
SCOPE Files Legal Complaint Over L.A. County’s Failure to Abide by Brown Act
The case against a prominent Santa Clarita Valley Realtor who had been accused of a sexual assault stemming from a Las Vegas real estate conference last summer was dismissed, a court clerk confirmed Thursday.
Las Vegas Sexual Assault Case Against SCV Realtor Dismissed, L.A. County Case “Still Active”
Tommy's Boats - a national boat dealership brand with locations in Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and Michigan - announced a new location opening soon in Castaic.
May 19, May 20: Tommy’s Boats Grill & Chill Hiring Event
Foothill League coaches announced their choice for Player of the Year and their All-League teams recently.
Saugus High QB Named Foothill League Player of the Year
California Credit Union has awarded 10 scholarships of $1,000 each to college-bound students in Los Angeles and Orange Counties in its annual College Scholarship Program.
Valencia High Student Awarded California Credit Union Scholarship
Santa Clarita Mayor Bill Miranda responded Tuesday to criticisms of the city of Santa Clarita Human Relations Roundtable, which was formed as a result of last summer’s protests about issues involving race relations.
Mayor Taking Human Relations Roundtable Criticisms “Very Seriously”
1825 - Town founder Henry Mayo Newhall born in Saugus, Mass. [read/watch]
Henry M. Newhall
Six days a week, Santa Clarita Grocery opens its warehouse to people in need.
Local Shop Donates Leftover Bagels To Help Families
As part of the $100 billion California Comeback Plan, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a $20 billion to transform California public schools into gateways of equity and opportunity.
Newsom Announces $20 Billion Investment to Public Schools
The LA County Development Authority have extended the deadline to register for elderly family housing sites from June to the end of the year. 
LACDA Extends Registration For Elderly Family Public Housing Sites, Including Valencia
%d bloggers like this: