Affiliates of Boone Newspapers have purchased the Middlesboro (Ky.) Daily News and two neighboring newspapers from Civitas Media of Davidson, North Carolina.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented Civitas Media in the transaction.
Included in the transaction were the non-dailies Harlan (Ky.) Enterprise and Claiborne Progress in Tazewell, Tenn. The acquisition was made by newly formed entities owned by Carpenter Newsmedia LLC (CNL) and managed by Boone Newspapers Inc. (BNI).
CNL is an affiliate of BNI, with offices in Natchez, Mississippi and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Todd Carpenter, of Natchez, is BNI's president and chief executive officer and is principal owner of CNL. James B. Boone Jr., of Tuscaloosa, is BNI's chairman.
Bill Sharp will remain as publisher of the newspapers and related websites.
"I am very excited about this transition and I look forward to a great future with people who care about community news and the local newspaper," said Sharp, a 20-year resident of the area and the newspapers' publisher since November. His newspaper career began as an advertising sales representative for the Claiborne Progress in 2013. He was promoted to advertising manager of the Progress, Middlesboro Daily News and Harlan Daily Enterprise in 2015.
"I am pleased to have Carpenter Newsmedia and Boone Newspapers own and manage these publications," said Civitas CEO Lior Yahalomi. "Newspapers have grown and prospered in the communities they serve under the leadership of Todd Carpenter and James Boone."
CNL has ownership in BNI affiliates in Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia. BNI owns and manages 75 newspapers in similar-sized communities that, in addition to those in which CNL has ownership interest, are in Minnesota, Michigan and Ohio.