Friday, August 11, 2017

Paxton Media Group buys three weeklies from Civitas, including one in a competitive market

The News-Gazette ran a photo
of its storefront with its story.
(Photo by Matt Lasley)
Civitas Media Group continues to sell newspapers. The latest are a pair of twice-weeklies in Kentucky and one in Tennessee, sold this week to Paxton Media Group, based in Paducah, Ky.

The Kentucky papers are the Grayson County News-Gazette in Leitchfield and the News Democrat and Leader in Russellville. The Tennessee paper is the Macon County Times in Lafayette, which is about 30 miles from another Paxton paper in Portland, Tenn., which is 30 miles from Russellville. Leitchfield is 55 miles from Owensboro, home of a Paxton daily, the Messenger-Inquirer, from which Paxton Group Publisher Bob Morris will oversee the papers.

The sale leaves North Carolina-based Civitas with only two Kentucky papers, small dailies in Harlan and Middlesboro in the state's southeast corner. It earlier sold weeklies in Prestonsburg and Hazard, also in the state's economically struggling eastern coalfield.

Paxton's purchase of the Leitchfield newspaper was unusual, because the paper has a competitor, and newspaper groups rarely buy into competitive markets. But that has happened before in Leitchfield, when Landmark Community Newspapers bought The Record from its local founder and hired her to run a subscription campaign that gained the paper the in-county circulation lead and the paid public notices that go with it under Kentucky law. A story in the News-Gazette said it would continue to publish on Wednesdays and Saturdays, "and the staff will remain the same."

The Leitchfield market is the only one The Rural Blog knows of where newspaper groups own competing weeklies. If you know of another, please tell us.

No comments: