St. Louis Beacon's largest gift -- $1.25 million -- comes from Emily Rauh Pulitzer, a former board member and major stockholder of Pulitzer, Inc., the former owner of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Pulitzer sold its newspapers to Lee Enterprises for $1.46 billion in 2005. Read the release after the jump.

Press release

THE ST. LOUIS BEACON ANNOUNCES LOCAL PLEDGES TOTALING $2.6 MILLION



Major gifts from local supporters bolster sustainability efforts of the St. Louis Beacon

ST LOUIS, Mo. - (April 6, 2011) - The St. Louis Beacon announced today gifts and pledges totaling $2.6 million. The St. Louis Beacon is a nonprofit news organization covering the St. Louis region, publishing primarily online.

The amounts of the gifts are $1.25 million from Emily Rauh Pulitzer, founder and chair of The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and a former board member and major stockholder of Pulitzer, Inc., the former owner of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other newspapers and broadcast companies; $1.1 million from journalist and Beacon board chair Richard K. Weil and his wife Josephine; and a combined $250,000 in other gifts and pledges. The funds, along with pledges announced earlier in the year, are targeted toward business and technology infrastructure for the Beacon.

"More than three years ago, I began giving time and money to the Beacon because I believed in the community's need for in-depth journalism," said Richard Weil. "The Beacon has gone beyond just providing news to become a part of the St. Louis region in a way none of us foretold. The next few years should be exciting as our top flight journalists and talented business staff work to grow this venture and make it self-sustaining."

"Strong journalism and a commitment to covering issues of consequence in the St. Louis region have been our focus from the beginning. These gifts allow us to invest equally in the areas that will support those efforts in an ongoing manner," said Beacon editor Margaret Wolf Freivogel.

"We have a responsibility to all of our supporters – and our region – to leverage these funds toward a sustainable business model,” added Beacon general manager Nicole Hollway. “These gifts don't eliminate our need to fund raise by any means. We see it as an infusion of capital. These gifts give us the resources to invest in areas that tie directly to earned revenue.”

About the St. Louis Beacon

The Beacon is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization founded by veteran St. Louis journalists to provide in-depth reporting, thoughtful analysis and discussion on news that matters in the St. Louis region. Publishing since April 2008, the Beacon covers politics, education, health, science, the economy, arts and lifestyle topics. The Beacon staff of 21 includes 16 journalists; more than 100 freelancers and other contributors also have been featured on the site. The Beacon's office is in the Nine Network of Public Media's building in the Grand Center neighborhood. In addition to working together on selected projects, the Beacon and the Nine Network of Public Media are jointly part of the Public Insight Network, which recruits sources throughout the region using online tools. The Beacon's Washington correspondent appears regularly on St. Louis Public Radio. In January, the Beacon begins a year-long partnership with Missouri History Museum to focus on the issue of class in the St. Louis region. For more information, please visit our website, stlbeacon.org.

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