Hermes Publications LLC takes over from Page Publications and owners Tom and Bobbi Page. The couple started The Prince George Journal 16 1/2 years ago and later purchased The Monitor more than 10 years ago and The Sussex-Surry Dispatch in 2007. Averett Jones, his wife Susan and son Evan have extensive experience in the newspaper field, starting The Southside Messenger nearly 10 years ago, with the same mindset of serving the community through fair and accurate news coverage. Evan Jones will serve as the publisher of all three papers and editor of The Monitor in Dinwiddie County.
Mark Laskowski, Senior Associate, W.B. Grimes & Company, represented the Page’s in the transaction.
Evan Jones reassures readers that though the company continues The Southside Messenger, the owners are dedicated to the local counties, its citizens and businesses. “I’m going to be here,” Jones said without hesitation. “We have arranged it in such a fashion that The Messenger will continue to do what the paper does without me there. I will be here every day.”
The Keysville native said that he will be attending Dinwiddie County Board of Supervisors meetings, other government functions and community events. The family started its first publication, The Southside Messenger, in June of 2004 to serve Charlotte, Prince Edward and Southside, Va., and they are no strangers to publishing a quality product for several localities. When asked why they chose to expand the business into the Tri-Cities area with the purchase of the three local papers, Evan Jones, who has worked in the newspaper business since he was 18, said, “We are believers in the power of community journalism.” He continued by adding, “We believe in local newspapers and want to see local newspapers around the area and the state succeed.”
At this time, Jones does not expect major modifications at any of the three publications, but he plans to get the pulse of each community to determine if there should be any changes and what direction the newspapers should go to move forward in the future. The company does believe in promoting its product through social media and using technology and programs to automate its office systems including billing and advertising.