Benton Communications Home

BENTON COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

A Virginia Corporation

Falls Church, Virginia

www.bcomminc.com

Welcome to the web page for Benton Communications, Inc., publisher of the Falls Church News-Press,

located at 450 W. Broad St., Suite 321, Falls Church, VA, 20046.

In addition to regular mail to the above address, we can be reached by phone at 703-532-3267,

by fax at 703-342-0347, by e-mail at fcnp@fcnp.com, or online at

www.bcomminc.com or www.fcnp.com

Below are the following chapters:

1. Our History and Mission, 2. The Falls Church News-Press, 3. Our Founder and Owner, 3. Ancillary Community-Based Programs, 4. News Updates and Links.

Our History and Mission

Benton Communications, Inc., was founded in October 1987 as a full corporation and since that time has been solely owned by Nicholas F. Benton (see biography below), who as president is also its sole corporate officer. It transferred its corporate home from the District of Columbia to Virginia with its founding of the Falls Church News-Press in 1991. Founded as Century News Service, Inc., its name was changed to Benton Communications in 2002. Although the overwhelming majority of activities of the corporation as been centered on the weekly publication of the Falls Church News-Press, its corporate by-laws permit its involvement in wide array of journalistic, media-related, commercial and promotional activities.

The mission of Benton Communications is to advance the causes of honesty, integrity, truth, justice, economic growth and compassion through accurate reporting and insightful commentary provided to the public through sound and sustainable newspaper publication and related media business models that also serve as effective vehicles for the success of its advertisers, and with ancillary community-based programs.

Falls Church News-Press

Published weekly without interruption since March 1991, the Falls Church News-Press has held up through the hard times for news organizations that has seen many of its comparable models vanish, vastly diminished or bankrupt. This is because of its unique attention to its chosen niche, to drill deeply into the local and regional news that is not available to the public in other forms, and to produce an attractive, dependable product. These factors have led to the widespread recognition that the paper is the unique “newspaper of record” for Falls Church and its environs, principally an area of eastern Fairfax County and Falls Church located inside the Washington, D.C. beltway and covering about 100,000 people with unusually high per capita income levels and including five high schools.

The Falls Church News-Press, with seven full-time employees, an average tabloid page count of 44 to 48 pages and a circulation that peaked in 2008 at 36,500, has been named the “Business of the Year” twice by the Falls Church City Council (in 1991 and 2003). It is a full voting member of the Virginia Press Association and participates in the Washington Suburban Press Network, an advertising agency serving non-competing weekly newspapers. In April 2008, the Falls Church News-Press was proclaimed the “Best Remnant of the Liberal Media” by the Washington, D.C.-based City Paper in its annual “Best Of D.C.” edition.

In addition to local news and sports coverage, the newspaper hosts national affairs columns from the New York Times News Service, including Paul Krugman, Helen Thomas, Maureen Dowd and David Brooks, movie reviews by Roger Ebert, syndicated columns on poker and spirits, original, exclusive columns by local politicians such as Rep. Jim Moran and local state delegates, senators and supervisors, exclusive “Art Beat” and “Press Pass” columns dealing with the arts and contemporary music, and a weekly column devoted to gay and lesbian issues called “Anything But Straight.”

The Managing Editor of the Falls Church News-Press is Jody Fellows, who began working part-time for the newspaper as a high school student in 1996, graduated from West Virginia University in 2000, and became the Falls Church News-Press’ full-time managing editor in 2001.

Our Founder and Owner

Founder, president and full owner of Benton Communications, Inc., Nicholas F. Benton is also the editor-in-chief of the Falls Church News-Press, and has written every one of its editorials since its founding in March 1991. Since September 1997, Benton has also written a weekly national affairs column published in the Falls Church News-Press and on its web site. He is the author of the vast majority of articles in the newspaper relating to local and regional politics. Since August 1998, he has also drawn and published a weekly cartoon in the newspaper called “Nick Knack.”

Born February 9, 1944 in Ross, California, Benton graduated from San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara, CA in 1961, with an Associate of Arts degree from Santa Barbara City College in 1963, a Bachelor of Arts from Westmont College, Santa Barbara, in 1965, and a Masters of Divinity with honors from the Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA, in 1969. He was the editor of his student newspapers in both high school and college. Serving as a youth director at a church affiliated with the United Church of Christ (with which Benton is still aligned), Benton became an Anti-Vietnam War activist and in 1970 co-founded the Berkeley Gay Liberation Front. He wrote the editorial for the first edition of the West Coast’s first gay newspaper, Gay Sunshine, and was the chief correspondent on gay and anti-war issues for the pioneer alternative newspaper, the Berkeley Barb from 1970-73. He ran for mayor of San Francisco in 1975 as a candidate of the U.S. Labor Party and later as a Democrat he ran a write-in campaign against Ron Paul for Congress from the 22nd District of Texas in 1982, for mayor of Houston in 1983 and unsuccessfully for his party’s nomination to run against Tom DeLay in 1984. During this period, he was an advocate for the Parsons Company’s Alaskan water diversion project known as the North American Water and Power Alliance, founding a political action committee with the late Sen. Frank Moss on its behalf known as NAWAPAC. From 1985-87, Benton was a White House correspondent for the Executive Intelligence Review before founding and becoming full engaged with what became Benton Communications in 1987.

Since founding the Falls Church News-Press in March 1991, Benton has served 18 consecutive years on the Board of Directors of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce, including two terms as its president (1993-94), and he has twice been honored as the recipient of the Chamber’s “Pillar of the Community” award (1992 and 2003). In 2007, Benton was named the “Business Person of the Year” by the Falls Church City Council. He was named to the “Media Honor Roll” by the Virginia School Board Association in 1998 and received the Hodding Carter Outstanding Journalism Award from the American Society for Public Administration’s Northern Virginia Chapter in 2005. In addition to the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce, Benton is on the board of directors of the Falls Church Education Foundation, the Creative Cauldron Arts Education Group and the Virginia Partisans Gay and Lesbian Club. He is a member of the National Press Club, the Federal Club of the Human Rights Campaign, the Victory Fund, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and First Congregational Church of Washington, D.C.

On October 22, 2009, Benton devoted his weekly national affairs column to an autobiographical declaration of his personal values and beliefs, entitled, “I Am a Human Capitalist.” Aligning himself with the 1948 United Nations “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” he wrote that “human capital, as opposed to finance capital, social Darwinist or free market capitalism…promotes policies that focus on the investment of capital the empowerment of human beings, who are, in fact, by far the most valuable commodity and potential source of new wealth and stability on the planet.”

(NOTE: Please be advised that Mr. Benton's biographical information on the Wikipedia web site is seriously flawed and erroneous due to hostile interventions by certain individuals in the free-for-all environment that is Wikipedia. Efforts to correct this are underway).

Ancillary Community-Based Programs

Under the auspices of the Falls Church News-Press, in addition to producing its weekly newspaper, Benton Communications has played a major role in serving the community it serves by hosting since 1991 an annual, open holiday party in December, a social mixer in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce in July, sponsoring and promoting a five-week food drive for the Northern Virginia Food for Others project, and an annual scholarship for a high school senior who plans to devote his or her life to “enfranchising the disenfranchised.”

Under his own name, Nicholas Benton made two large financial contributions in 2006 and 2008 dedicated to the creation, under auspices of the Falls Church Education Foundation, of a “Diversity Affirmation Education Fund” for the Falls Church City Schools. The fund has been used to bring the “Challenge Days,” a annual day-long program dedicated to overcoming fear and hatred of differences among students, to Falls Church’s George Mason High School. It has been received so favorably that it was extended to the Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School in the fall of 2009.

In June 2004, a “Nicholas F. Benton Foundation for Community Newspaper Development” was established as a non-profit “to educate the general public both in the U.S. and abroad about the means of creating and sustaining effective community newspapers and the benefits to the public of such undertakings.”

News Updates and Links

* August 7, 2007 – Nicholas Benton featured in cover story of Metro Weekly of Washington, D.C. “Citizen Nick: Nicholas F. Benton’s Gay-Friendly, Progressive Newspaper Grows in Falls Church.” http://www.metroweekly.com/feature/?ak=2893

* July 7 and 8, 2009 – Nicholas Benton Interviewed in 2-Part Series posted on “Outfront.Com” blog. http://tinyurl.com/yankj25 and http://tinyurl.com/yeuuw9c.

* September 10, 2009 – Benton Communications, Inc. wins certification as a “LGBT Business Enterprise” from the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. http://tinyurl.com/y8rhob8.