Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Bowling Green Daily News, one of the oldest family-owned newspapers in U.S., is sold to a unit of Boone Newspapers

Publisher Emeritus Pipes Gaines announces the sale of his family's newspaper. (Daily News photo by Joe Imel)

The Bowling Green (Ky.) Daily News, under local family ownership since its founding before the Civil War and in the Gaines family since 1882, is being sold to Carpenter Newsmedia LLC, an affiliate of Boone Newspapers Inc., a family-owned chain based in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Boone owns or manages more than 90 newspapers and other publications in 12 states, including seven in Kentucky. The Daily News will be the eighth and by far the largest. The company's controlling stockholder and chairman is Jim Boone, whose wife and children own the remainder. Todd H. Carpenter of Natchez, Miss., is the company’s president and CEO.

The Daily News is one of the oldest family-owned dailies in the U.S. It traces its history to 1854, and the Gaines family's ownership began in 1882. Publisher Emeritus Pipes Gaines, the president and chairman of the family firm, told The Rural Blog that the decision to sell was difficult.

"We tried our best to make it work, but sadly, the single family-owned newspaper model is hard to work now," Gaines said. Not only do families grow, creating more mouths to feed, times are tough for newspapers; Bowling Green is a growing market, but Gaines said the paper's gross revenue is a third of what it was a little over a decade ago.

Buyers have courted the family for decades, but “The answer always was, 'The Daily News is not for sale',” Gaines said. “It wasn’t that the attitude changed; the economics of it changed.”

In choosing a buyer, Gaines said in a press release, “Two considerations were very important to us. We were choosing a buyer that had the same strong commitment to quality and strong community journalism, and we were looking for a buyer that would treat our coworkers the way we would want them to be treated.”

Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but it does not include the paper's half-block of property in downtown Bowling Green, a city of nearly 75,000. Boone takes possession July 1.

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