Beaufort Media Group Acquires Lowcountry Local MediaBack to News

Bluffton, SC – September 6, 2023 – The Bluffton Sun and Hilton Head Sun have been purchased by a group whose history with South Carolina newspapers dates back to the 1890s.

Jack and Kyle Osteen – part of the family that has owned The Sumter Item, a five-day-per-week community newspaper in Sumter, South Carolina since 1894 – purchased the Bluffton-based newspaper group along with Vince Johnson, the current group publisher of The Sumter Item.

Dirks, Van Essen & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented Lowcountry Local Media in the transaction. Terms were not disclosed. The transaction closed on August 31.

Osteen, Osteen and Johnson also own the Lexington County Chronicle in Lexington, South Carolina and Gulf Coast Media newspapers in Baldwin County, Alabama.

As part of the change, former owner and publisher Kevin Aylmer – who has owned Lowcountry Local Media since 2017 – is planning to retire. Aylmer will assist in the ownership transition.

“We are pleased to have served the readers of The Bluffton Sun and Hilton Head Sun for the past six years. We are proud of the newspapers we produce and are confident the Osteens will continue the tradition of providing timely local news and information going forward,” Aylmer said.

The Osteen/Johnson companies are known for quality journalism in print and online and as innovators in publishing local news. The group plans to build on the success of The Bluffton Sun and Hilton Head Sun.

“We’re excited to continue the legacy of this important local news operation in Bluffton and Hilton Head,” the company said in a statement. “The fact that every resident receives the publication for free is a great resource for readers and is ideal for advertisers, and these are phenomenal communities for local news.”

The new ownership group plans to retain current staff positions and add to the local staff in the coming months.

“Much like the previous ownership and current staff, we value authentic relationships with our communities and news that is extremely local,” the company said. “Our commitment is that we’ll listen to the Bluffton and Hilton Head communities and deliver the news you want and need to know.”

The Bluffton Sun is delivered bi-monthly via USPS to more than 26,000 homes in the greater Bluffton and Okatie communities. The Hilton Head Sun is delivered monthly via USPS to more than 26,000 homes in the greater Hilton Head area.