Carpenter Media Group Completes Acquisition of Black Press MediaBack to News

Carpenter Media Group (CMG) announced today that it has completed its acquisition of U.S. and Canadian publisher Black Press Media (BPM) in a stock purchase with Canadian financial partner Canso Investment Counsel, LTD. New corporate entities were formed in the U.S. and Canada to hold the stock and assets. CMG and Canso will share total ownership equally, and CMG will manage the companies.

Dirks, Van Essen & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented Black Press in the transaction.

Black Press had been restructuring under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) since January. Canso has been a longtime creditor of the company.

Canadian operations will remain under Canadian corporate governance and majority ownership in compliance with Canadian business regulations.

CMG is a leading community media company with operations in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky. Todd Carpenter, of Natchez, Miss., is principal and chairman. Tim Prince, of Mountain Brook, Ala., is CEO. CMG has offices in Natchez, Miss. and Tuscaloosa, Ala., with key people working from various operations throughout the group.

BPM owns more than 150 newspapers and media operations in Western Canada, Washington and Hawaii, including The Star-Advertiser in Honolulu, the sixth-largest U.S. daily newspaper by print circulation. Other assets include websites, lifestyle and tourism magazines, Amazon last-mile delivery franchises and national tourism website BPM serves about 4.5 million print readers and 13 million digital readers daily.

Members of the Black Press management team will assume key roles in the CMG organization. Longtime regional COO’s Randy Blair, Josh O’Connor and Dennis Francis have been named Senior Vice Presidents of CMG. Chris Hargreaves has been named Senior Vice President and CFO. Andrew Franklin has been named Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer. Others in Black Press and CMG are accepting new roles and responsibilities.

Canso, with total assets under management of over $40 billion, is based in Richmond Hill, Ontario and provides portfolio management services to Canadian institutional and private investors. Founded in 1997, it is a private company that is owned by its investment professionals, who are dedicated to partnering with its stakeholders. The group is enthusiastic about community media and its importance to the communities it serves.

CMG is organized and driven to serve and develop communities through excellent local journalism, guiding the marketing and advertising of its small and medium-sized business customers and developing its team members to grow personally and professionally.

“We are pleased to succeed David Black and his family in responsibility for these important institutions and the communities they serve,” said Carpenter. “We have much in common with the Black organization in values and heritage, and we will work hard to make our being chosen to lead in this next chapter of the company’s development a good decision for all.”

Prior to chairing CMG, Carpenter was a longtime CEO and director of Boone Newsmedia, Inc., which, including CMG’s holdings along with its own, managed 85 newspaper titles, various magazines, websites and other businesses in 12 states.


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