OPC News, LLC, purchased the media properties from Crescent Publishing Company, LLC, also based in South Carolina. The sale closed July 29.
OPC News is owned by three members of the Osteen family, Graham, Kyle and Jack Osteen. The brothers also have holdings in Osteen Publishing Company, Inc., a Sumter newspaper operation that has been in their family for more than a century.
In a statement, the brothers said their comfort with small newspapers and the location of these particular properties made the purchase attractive.
“Baldwin County is a great area with an audience that traditionally loves to read newspapers. Along with the staff, we will continue to build on the impressive efforts at Gulf Coast Newspapers. We believe in the future of smaller community news organizations.”
Bern Mebane, President of Crescent Publishing who has owned GCN for the past 14 years said “We are delighted that our friends in the Osteen family will continue to build on the work of serving the communities of Baldwin County, and the people from around the country who depend on our website for news and events related to the vibrant coastal tourist market. They have been in the business for generations and have adapted to the changing needs of communities in several states.”
Gulf Coast Newspapers consists of newspapers in several Baldwin County communities, tourism related publications, a website dedicated to the Alabama Gulf Coast and a strong Facebook and Twitter presence. The newspapers are published under five different names: The Courier, The Independent, The Baldwin Times, The Foley Onlooker and The Islander. Also included are a website, GulfCoastNewsToday.com, and several specialty publications and magazines.
Sudie Gambrell, the current publisher of Gulf Coast Newspapers, will continue in that role. Gambrell will report to Larry Miller, chief executive officer of OPC News and Osteen Publishing Company. Miller, based in South Carolina, oversees all of the Osteen properties, which includes newspapers in Florida, New Mexico, and South Carolina.
Cribb, Greene & Associates of Charlottesville, VA represented the company in the sale.