Southern Newspapers expands into Oklahoma with purchase of Lawton Constitution


Bill Burgess, Jr. and Brad Burgess announced March 7 that they have entered into an agreement to sell the 16,000-circulation daily Lawton (Okla.) Constitution to Houston-based Southern Newspapers, headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, the Santa Fe, N.M.-based media merger and acquisition firm, is representing the Burgess brothers in the sale.

The Burgess brothers, who practice law and operate other businesses in Lawton, acquired the company in 2012 from long-time local owners Steve and Don Bentley.

“My brother and I have enjoyed being stewards of this important community institution the past six years,” Brad Burgess said. “We believe we have selected a new owner that will carry on in the best interests of Lawton, the readers of the Constitution and our wonderful employees.”

In a statement, Lissa Walls, CEO and owner of Southern Newspapers Inc., said: “Our company is proud to have been selected as the new owner of the Constitution. Our specialty is community newspapers, and we are looking forward to working with leaders at the newspaper and in Lawton to sustain and support the community.”

Privately-held Southern operates 15 newspapers in Texas and Alabama. The Lawton Constitution will be its first in Oklahoma.