Middlesboro-Tazewell Newsmedia, LLC, a new Kentucky entity owned by Carpenter Newsmedia, LLC (CNL) and managed by Boone Newspapers, Inc. (BNI), has purchased the Middlesboro Daily News and the Claiborne Progress in neighboring Tazewell, Tennessee, from Civitas Media of Davidson, North Carolina. Harlan Newsmedia, LLC, another new Kentucky entity owned by CNL and BNI, purchased the Harlan Daily Enterprise.
The purchases were finalized Thursday.
CNL is an affiliate of BNI, with offices in Natchez, Mississippi, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Todd Carpenter, of Natchez, is BNI’s president and chief executive officer and is principal owner of CNL. James B. Boone, Jr., of Tuscaloosa, is BNI’s chairman. Steve Stewart, publisher of The State Journal in Frankfort, is BNI’s vice president with responsibility for its affiliate newspapers in Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina.
“We are excited about serving the communities of Middlesboro, Harlan and Tazewell with top-quality newspapers, websites and niche products,” Stewart said.
Bill Sharp will remain as publisher of all three newspapers and related websites.
“I am very excited about this transition and I look forward to a great future with people who care about community news and the local newspaper,” said Sharp, a 20-year resident of the area and the newspapers’ publisher since November. His newspaper career began as an advertising sales representative for the Claiborne Progress in 2013. He was promoted to advertising manager of the Progress, Middlesboro Daily News and Harlan Daily Enterprise in 2015.
Lior Yahalomi, Civitas CEO, stated, “I am pleased to have Carpenter Newsmedia and Boone Newspapers own and manage the Middlesboro Daily News and Claiborne Progress. Newspapers have grown and prospered in the communities they serve under the leadership of Todd Carpenter and James Boone.”
Yahalomi added, “I also want to express my thanks to all of our Civitas Harlan employees for their successful, loyal and conscientious long-term service. I wish them great success as they transition to be an integral part of the Carpenter and Boone organization and culture.”
CNL has ownership in BNI affiliates in Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Carpenter has been president of BNI for the past 13 years.
“We are pleased and honored to assume responsibilities for these newspapers and look forward to working with each staff member and community. We will work hard to meet every obligation to each community served and to produce newspapers and websites each community can be proud of,” Carpenter said.
BNI owns and manages 75 newspapers in similar-sized communities that, in addition to those in which CNL has ownership interest, are in Minnesota, Michigan and Ohio.
Other Kentucky affiliates of BNI and CNL are in Frankfort, Danville, Winchester, Nicholasville and Stanford.
The organization has a rich history of quality newspapers, websites, magazines and other publications in the communities it serves, explained in part by Boone’s corporate philosophy: “We seek to produce the highest quality product the economics of the community can support. And then, by ingenuity and imagination, we strive for a higher quality in an effort to serve and build that community.”
Civitas Media encompassed more than 100 publications, many of which have served their communities for more than a century. Civitas, Latin for “community” or “citizen,” is a union of four media entities formerly known as Heartland Publications, Freedom Central, Impressions Media and Ohio Community Media. Civitas, which employed more than 1,100 associates across 12 states, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Tennessee, publishes 32 daily, 28 weekend editions and 63 weekly publications for a combined circulation of more than 1.5 million. For further information, please visit Civitasmedia.com.
Civitas Media, LLC was represented by Dirks Van Essen & Murray in this transaction.