Journal buys statewide business newspaper

By NEMS Daily Journal

JACKSON – Journal Inc., parent company of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, has acquired the Mississippi Business Journal, the state’s leading business publication.
Journal Inc. Chairman and CEO Clay Foster announced the completion of the purchase from the Dolan Company of Minneapolis, Minn., in a Tuesday meeting with the leadership and staff of the Mississippi Business Journal.
“We are excited to welcome the MBJ as the newest team members of Journal Inc.,” Foster said. “The MBJ is a great institution and a powerful brand in the state, and we look forward to working closely with the MBJ team to make the products and services provided even better for our customers.
“We believe in the future of the MBJ, and we believe the future is one that holds tremendous growth potential.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Based in Jackson, the 33-year-old weekly newspaper has a print circulation of 5,400 and averages more than 70,000 unique visitors monthly to its website, msbusiness.com.
The MBJ also publishes the quarterly Construction Mississippi, the quarterly Come See Us and a dozen other special publications on technology, law, real estate, small business, education and health care.
The MBJ produces the soon-to-be 30-year-old annual Mississippi Business and Technology EXPO and also publishes the annual NEXT: A Guide to Life After High School, distributed statewide to 40,000 high school students in partnership with the Mississippi Department of Education. It sponsors the annual “Top 40 Under 40” recognition of young Mississippi business leaders.
In addition to its msbusiness.com, the company also operates web sites msnext.com, bestplacestoworkinms.com, and a daily news bulletin delivered by email to approximately 3,200 business subscribers.
Foster said Alan Turner will remain as the publisher of the MBJ. Additionally, there will be no changes in the leadership structure or staff at the Mississippi Business Journal. The publication will remain in its current offices in downtown Jackson.
Privately held Journal Inc.’s flagship operation is the Daily Journal, a 35,000-circulation daily newspaper. With the MBJ, Journal Inc. will now publish 15 weekly newspapers. The company is unique in that it is owned by the nonprofit CREATE Foundation.
The MBJ purchase continues a Journal Inc. strategy of growth through expansion of existing products and acquisitions that are a good fit with the Journal’s business model. The company currently owns seven weekly newspapers in Northeast Mississippi, including the Pontotoc Progress, Itawamba County Times, Monroe Journal, Chickasaw Journal, New Albany News-Exchange, Southern Sentinel (Ripley) and Southern Advocate (Ashland).
Last year, Journal Inc. made its first acquisitions outside the Northeast Mississippi market with the purchase of seven weeklies in suburban Memphis.
The company’s flagship website, Djournal.com, has seen steady growth in visitors and reached the 1 million mark in May of this year.
Journal Inc. recently made a multimillion-dollar investment in the future of its printed products with the purchase and installation of a new printing press that is expected to be operational in October.
“Our business, like most businesses, is more challenging than ever, especially during the recession and the slow economic recovery that has followed,” Foster said. “However, we continue to believe and demonstrate daily that news organizations that serve as trusted institutions in their communities, delivering local news and local information that matters most to our customers, have tremendous growth potential.”