SOURCE: SunLit Communications LLC

April 30, 2008 14:41 ET

Journalists of Former Knight Ridder Reinvent a Future

AKRON, OH--(Marketwire - April 30, 2008) - In the same community where newspaper pioneer John S. Knight built his media empire, a group of journalists, including several with direct ties to the late Mr. Knight, announce the formation of a new digital media company that embraces the high Knight ideals.

SunLit Communications LLC, staffed mostly by journalists of the former Knight Ridder Newspapers, has secured its first national contracts to supply custom multimedia content to's Shopping Advice section; the Ohio Center for the Book, a Library of Congress institution, and Random House Inc., which engaged SunLit to develop online book discussion materials being offered free to communities participating in the "One Book, One Community" program.

SunLit provides high-quality news and information services to publishers, media organizations, public libraries and others. It also produces, an interactive online magazine for book lovers.

SunLit mainly grew out of the Akron Beacon Journal, the founding paper of the former Knight Newspapers, which later became Knight Ridder.

The journalists working with SunLit had been well known through decades of work with the Beacon Journal. In building a new enterprise, they found ready support in the local business community, which embraced the idea of a new media company growing once again in Akron.

The Greater Akron Chamber helped SunLit prepare for financing, which ultimately came from a community economic development fund.

The Cleveland/Akron accounting firm of Cohen & Co. and the business law firm of Stark & Knoll nurtured the young company.

Relationships developed both with Kent State University and The University of Akron. The company is housed at the Akron Innovation Campus at the UA.

"We succeeded in creating a new company only because of the tremendous support from the Akron community," said SunLit president Diane Evans, a former columnist and 32-year veteran of Knight Ridder. "We're here because of the partnerships we forged in the community."

The SunLit staff includes former Knight Ridder editors Mike Needs and Dave Wilson; award-wining former Knight Ridder writers Mary Ethridge, Jane Snow and Nancy Peacock, and former Chicago Tribune editor, Anne Brennan. Advisers include Thomas Fladung, Saint Paul Pioneer Press editor-in-chief, and Timothy D. Smith, former Knight Ridder managing editor and now media law expert at Kent State.

The SunLit/ home page is at

Contact Information

  • For information, contact:
    Rick Rubright