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Newly formed New media group acquires three Oklahoma papers from Civitas media

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A newly formed media group with Oklahoma ties has purchased three newspapers in the southern part of the state from Civitas Media.

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexicoa, represented Civitas Media in the transaction.

Larry Miller, an owner and chief executive officer of Graystone Media Group LLC, announced the purchase of daily newspapers in Durant and Altus and a weekly newspaper in Frederick.

Another owner, Rick Carpenter, serves as president of Graystone Media Group and publisher of the Altus Times. Miller and Carpenter have previously owned newspapers in Colorado and South Carolina.
Miller will serve as publisher of the Durant Democrat and will be involved in all aspects of the paper.
“My partners and I want to live in the communities we serve and work with our employees to make this paper as good as it can be,” Miller said.

“We know the newspaper industry has been challenged in recent years, but there are things we can do that will make this publication more valuable to readers and advertisers. We will be rolling out changes in the coming weeks and months that will help achieve that.”

Miller, who grew up in LeFlore County, and Carpenter, who grew up in Oklahoma City, both graduated from the University of Oklahoma with bachelor’s degrees in journalism in 1976. Miller earned a master’s degree in journalism education from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1983, and Carpenter earned a master’s in communications from West Texas A&M in 1990.

Miller started his career at papers in Seminole, El Reno and Edmond before joining the staff at the Daily Oklahoman, where he was an assistant editor. He left the state in 1984 to work for a variety of papers in Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

“We have both done pretty much every job in the newspaper business, from writing/reporting, ad sales, photography, as well as upper management. Those skills, along with those of our employees, can make our newspapers better.”

Carpenter has written for the Daily Oklahoman, the Denver Post and the Aspen Times as well as many other daily and weekly newspapers. He also served as an intern photographer for Sports Illustrated and Time magazines in 1975.

Coastal Fun Info papers sold to president of Lowcountry Local Media

B.J. Frazier, owner of Coastal Fun Info LLC, publishers of the Bluffton Sun, the Hilton Head Sun and the Sun City Sun (S.C.) community newspapers – and their digital platforms – has announced the sale of those properties to Kevin Aylmer, president of Lowcountry Local Media.

Aylmer is a Bluffton resident who has spent his career in the newspaper and digital publishing field, holding publisher and senior management positions in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois. He was formerly CEO of Trinity Holdings, Inc., and has spent the last 15 years working with print media to bring digital media products to markets across the United States.

Frazier, who was represented in the sale by David Slavin, senior associate of W.B. Grimes and Co., has owned the papers since 2006.

“Although I thoroughly enjoy my work in our communities, and with all of my associates and clients, after 50 years in the business it is time for me to slow down a bit,” he said. “I am fortunate to have found Kevin, such an experienced local individual, to continue growing the company into the future. I look forward to working with him as we move ahead in the vibrant communities of Bluffton, Hilton Head and beyond.”

Frazier will remain with the company as sales director.

“I am pleased for the opportunity to uphold the tradition of providing local news and information that has been the cornerstone of these fine publications,” said Aylmer, who has lived in Bluffton for seven years with his wife, Megan. “I look forward to working with B.J. and the staff to help ensure that residents of the Bluffton and Hilton Head area continue to receive timely information about our communities, our advertisers, and our residents.”