Publisher Larry Hensley announced Friday that an agreement for sale of the four Kentucky newspapers owned by Schurz Communications Inc. has been reached in principle and plans are to complete the transaction in early January. The sale includes The Advocate-Messenger, The Winchester Sun, The Jessamine Journal and The Interior Journal in Stanford. Randy Cope, Managing Director at Cribb, Greene & Cope ,represents Schurz Communications Inc. in the transaction.
The buyer is a newly formed Kentucky entity, Bluegrass Newsmedia LLC, managed by Boone Newspapers, Inc. (BNI) of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Bluegrass Newsmedia will publish the newspapers, websites and affiliated publications.
Hensley will remain publisher of all four properties. “We are pleased Larry Hensley will continue to lead your newspapers,” said Todd Carpenter, president and CEO of BNI in a statement to the company’s new employees. “We have much in common with Larry and with your organization. We are publishers by practice and background, not financial investors. Our company is built on sound community publishing principles and led by people who have practiced and are practicing those principles as newspaper publishers now.”
BNI manages newspapers in similar sized communities in Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Minnesota, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Michigan. In Kentucky, BNI acquired The State Journal in Frankfort in October.
Schurz Communications, Inc. (SCI) of South Bend, Indiana, began exploration of a sale about two months ago. SCI has owned The Advocate-Messenger since 1978, acquiring the other three at various times since.
In a statement to the employees, SCI President Todd Schurz thanked them for their “hard work, commitment and dedication.” He also praised BNI. “Boone’s philosophy revolves around the word ‘quality,’ and the new owners operate 70 newspapers and shoppers in a dozen states, including Frankfort’s State Journal. … I believe this combination will provide the best opportunity for these companies, communities and staffs to thrive in the future.”
Schurz Communications Inc. is represented by Cribb, Greene & Cope, a newspaper brokerage, appraisal, and consulting firm with offices in Montana, Virginia, and Missouri.
A more detailed report will be published when the sale is completed.