Paxton Media Group Acquires Four Titles from Rust CommunicationsBack to News

The community newspapers in Dyersburg, Tennessee and Brazil, Greencastle, and Greene County, Indiana will have new ownership starting Monday, July 1. Paxton Media Group is acquiring the titles from Cape Girardeau, Missouri-based Rust Communications.

Dirks, Van Essen & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is representing Rust Communications in the transaction. Terms were not disclosed.

Rust acquired the Greencastle (IN) Banner Graphic in 1999, the Brazil (IN) Times in 2001, and the former Linton (IN) Daily Citizen and Bloomfield (IN) Evening World in 2003. The Daily Citizen and Evening World were merged in 2005 to form the Greene County Daily World.

Interestingly, Rust purchased the Dyersburg (TN) State-Gazette from Paxton Media Group back in 2000, so the operation will be back in familiar hands.

“We have loved serving our communities in Tennessee and Indiana, and transitioning them to Paxton made sense with their other properties,” said Jon K. Rust, president of Rust Communications. “It is vital that newspapers and local news organizations prosper for the good of the public – and for American democracy. Paxton is a strong company with a proud history of serving their local communities. Rust will continue to focus on our other markets, in five states, on our mission of being intensely focused on making our communities better through responsible journalism and community engagement.”

Paxton Media Group (PMG), based in Paducah, Kentucky, is a family-owned company founded in 1896. It is currently led by President & CEO Jamie Paxton who is the fifth generation of the Paxton family to hold the title of president of the company.

PMG publishes nearly 120 community newspapers in the Southeast and Midwest, as well as related websites in each of those communities. The newspapers are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The company also operates WPSD-TV, an NBC affiliated television station based in Paducah, Kentucky, the 92nd largest DMA (of 210) in the United States.

“We believe in local newspapers, and in their value to a community, and we are committed to continue the excellent tradition the State-Gazette, Banner Graphic, Brazil Times, and Greene County Daily World has,” said Paxton.

“We are pleased to have acquired the State-Gazette and Indiana titles and welcome the employees to Paxton. We look forward to continuing the tradition of quality journalism created by these staff members,” said David Holgate, group president, Paxton Media Group, who will be working directly with local management.

Mike Weafer, PMG Group Publisher of KY-IN, and Courtney Shots, who will be publisher of the three Indiana papers, echoed Holgate’s sentiment, saying “We are excited to work with these great communities and with the staff of these three papers.”

The Rust titles will join Paxton Media Group’s existing stable of eight titles in southern Indiana, which include the Princeton Daily Clarion, Spencer County Journal, Perry County News, Paoli/Springs Valley Herald, Jasper Herald, Warrick County Standard, Petersburg Press Dispatch, and the South Gibson Star Times.

The Dyersburg operation will join PMG’s 11 existing titles in Tennessee, which include The Cleveland Daily Banner, Cookeville Herald Citizen, Macon County Times in Lafayette, Hartsville Vidette, Lebanon Democrat, Mt. Juliet News, Lafollette Press, Portland Leader, Roane County News, Sevierville Mountain Press, and the Morgan County News.

Rust Communications continues to own and operate newspapers in Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska, Kansas, and Idaho.