Journal Inc. buys New Albany Gazette

GazetteDaily Journal

NEW ALBANY – Journal Inc. has purchased the New Albany Gazette, a twice-weekly newspaper that has served Union County for 124 years.

Announcement of the sale, which closed on Friday, was made in the Gazette’s Wednesday edition.

The newspaper had been owned for 34 years by Landmark Community Newspapers, based in Shelbyville, Ky.

Journal Inc. publishes the Daily Journal and 13 weekly newspapers, eight in Mississippi and five in Tennessee. All its stock is held by the Tupelo-based CREATE Foundation.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Journal Inc. CEO Clay Foster said purchase of the Gazette fits in well with the company’s mission and market.

“We are excited about the opportunity to be the new owner of the Gazette,” Foster said. “Union County is an economically healthy community in the heart of our primary market area, making the Gazette a great fit for our company.”

In addition to the Daily Journal, the company’s Northeast Mississippi newspapers include the Pontotoc Progress, Itawamba County Times, Monroe Journal, Southern Sentinel (Tippah County), Chickasaw Journal, Southern Advocate (Benton County) and New Albany News-Exchange. Journal Inc. also owns the Jackson-based Mississippi Business Journal and five weeklies in the suburban Memphis, Tenn., area.

“We continue to invest in papers like the Gazette because we believe there is continuing value in the local publishing model, and with our existing operations throughout Northeast Mississippi, we’re convinced we can bring economies of scale and enhanced management to both print and digital publishing operations of the Gazette,” Foster said.

Returning local ownership to the Gazette, Foster said, is important because “we believe that locally owned newspapers can best reflect the values and serve the interests of the people of any community.”

The Gazette will continue to publish on Wednesdays and Fridays, Foster said.

The sale includes the Gazette’s online edition as well as several specialty publications.

Landmark Community Newspapers President Michael G. Abernathy, who was in New Albany on Friday to inform Gazette employees of the sale, said the Gazette being the only Landmark paper in the state made it “difficult to have synergy with the company’s other papers” and that the newspaper was “a very good fit” for Journal Inc.

Landmark bought the Gazette in 1979 from New Albany attorney Bill Rutledge, whose family had been associated with the paper since the 1930s.

Said Foster: “We look forward to working with the team at the Gazette as we seek new ways to serve our readers and advertisers and strengthen the local community.”

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  • Kevin

    So the Journal recently acquired the New Albany paper, thus depriving that town of any independent voice or media. But that’s not such a bad thing considering that few people today actually read newspapers. Buzzfeed, Deadspin, Gawker and a host of other “indie” news sources on the internet are far more hardhitting and entertaining than any mainstream newspaper. But in the end, the Gazette will turn into another community rag filled with ads that support the Journal behemoth. The Clarion-Ledger and Coast Sun have all followed the same pattern–buying up small weeklies and turning them into ad vehicles with 90% ad content to 10% editorial. The editorial pieces are merely fluff and puff, which is the Journal’s forte.

    • Zaphod

      I wouldn’t worry too much. It’s got a long, rich history and is a quality newspaper, so they’ll probably just shut it down entirely.

      • Kevin

        Nope, too much ad revenue for the taking now.

        • clevelandgator

          People are like this is why no one online should be anonymous. They come to a business’ site and just start trashing it. Sounds like a bunch of kids to me. Although, they probably are just disgruntled employees. Don’t your parents know your skipping school? They’re probably part of the problem with the area too now that i think about it.

          • Kevin

            It never ceases to amaze me that folks will comment on an internet site with unclear writing, poor use of grammar, and contradictory statements.

          • clevelandgator

            Go back to school!!

          • Zaphod

            So, clevelandgator, you’re (it’s a contraction on the words “you” and “are,” not a possessive determiner) saying we should use our real names when posting comments in this forum.

            Interesting. Is “clevelandgator” a family name?