Washington (NC) Daily News Sold to Washington Newsmedia, LLCBack to News

WASHINGTON, NC, September 1, 2010 – The Washington Daily News has been sold to Washington Newsmedia, LLC, by the Futrell family, which had published the newspaper since 1949.

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a newspaper merger and acquisition firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented the Futrell family in the transaction.

The sale, which was announced in June, was completed Wednesday. Terms were not disclosed.

The Daily News publishes six days a week with a circulation of more than 8,000 in Washington, Beaufort County and neighboring counties.

Washington Newsmedia LLC is a newly formed company in North Carolina to acquire the Daily News, The Scuppernong Reminder, a weekly serving Tyrrell County, and related online and niche publications.

It is majority owned by Boone Newspapers, Inc. (BNI) and BNI’s president and chief operating officer Todd H. Carpenter. Minority ownership includes BNI key personnel, seller Ashley B. “Brownie” Futrell, Jr. and Ray McKeithan, who was named president and publisher of the Daily News. McKeithan had served the former owners as associate publisher and general manager since 2001.

Carpenter lives in Natchez, Miss., and is the former publisher of the BNI-owned daily there, The Natchez Democrat. He is a native of Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The sale ends more than 60 years of operation by the Futrell family. The late Ashley B. Futrell became editor and publisher of the newspaper in 1949. Brownie Futrell, who succeeded his father in the newspaper’s top leadership positions, retired Wednesday after 32 years with the family business.

“It has been the honor of my lifetime to continue my family’s stewardship of the Washington Daily News,” said Futrell. “We have been blessed and humbled by the many acts of kindness and support demonstrated to us over the years, and we will be forever grateful to the people of the Pamlico area. In Boone Newspapers we have found a partner who shares our vision of community service and quality journalism and is committed to extending the legacy established by my father.”

The Daily News marked its 100th year of publication in 2009. On April 13, 1990, it received the nation’s top journalism award, the Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, for a series of articles written by Mike Voss and Betty Mitchell Gray on cancer-causing chemicals in the city’s water supply.

Boone Newspapers owns and manages 38 community newspapers in North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Minnesota, Ohio and Michigan. James B. Boone, Jr., of Tuscaloosa, Ala., is BNI’s chief executive officer.

The roots of BNI go back to The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News, which was published by Jim Boone’s father from 1947 until 1968. Jim Boone succeeded his father there after leaving the Suffolk (Va.) News-Herald as publisher in 1968. The first acquisitions of newspapers in what is now BNI occurred in 1970. Boone, his wife Carolyn and his five children are owners of BNI. A BNI Web site is maintained at http://www.boonenewspapers.com.

If you have further questions contact Dirks, Van Essen & Murray at 505-820-2700.