The inevitable has happened. The Bucks County Courier Times and its sister papers will become part of one of the largest publishing companies in the U.S. Not defunct, just swallowed up.

New Media Investment Group Inc. is the parent company of GateHouse Media, the owner of the Courier Times and its sister papers, the Intelligencer in Doylestown and the Burlington County Times. News flash- New Media has signed an agreement, subject to review, to acquire Gannett Co., Inc., based in McLean, Virginia. The combined companies will later be called Gannett.

In a statement released yesterday by New Media, the acquisition of Gannett will “create the largest local news publishing organization in the country and usher in a new era of American journalism.”

Are we surprised? No. everyone saw it coming as the Courier, where I worked for 21 years, was sold by the original Calkins family owners to GateHouseMedia, of Pittsford, New York, and it was “tightened up” immediately, people were “retired” and my favorite paper shrank!

Oh, the days of print are over, radio and television news are safe and digital is it! The First Amendment, however, remains intact and information and especially local news is important as ever – insightful, local news for the sake of the public. You cannot argue with that.

The formation of the the largest U.S. publishing company (with this recent agreement) may or may not be a great thing, other than a very good business deal, but let’s wait and see.

Meanwhile, good luck, good writing and may our friends continue on the frontlines in beautiful Bucks County – and Burlington, NJ.

More on this later. Stay tuned.