As the second-largest metropolitan area in Illinois, the Belleville area is a bustling, diverse region just outside St. Louis, Mo. The News-Democrat, a leading news media publisher in Southwestern Illinois, also produces a number of community news publications, including Command Post, dedicated to covering nearby Scott Air Force Base, home to roughly 13,000 military and civilian workers. Noted as a great place to set down roots, the area is also home to an estimated 18,000 military retirees.

In 2020, McClatchy transitioned to private ownership when it was acquired by Chatham Asset Management. The Chatham acquisition marked the beginning of a new era of opportunity for McClatchy, strengthening the Company's financial position and enabling it to build on its 150-plus year history of independent, community-focused journalism by investing in local newsrooms.