Bill Burgess, Jr. and Brad Burgess have announced that they have entered into an agreement to sell the Lawton (Okla.) Constitution to Southern Newspapers, headquartered in Houston, Texas. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is representing the Bill and Brad Burgess in the sale.
The Constitution has paid circulation Monday through Saturday of 16,500 and 18,000 on Sundays. 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.
Brad Burgess said, “My brother and I have enjoyed being stewards of this important community institution the past six years. 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.”
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. One of our main reasons for choosing this newspaper is that Lawton itself is a beautiful, dynamic community with a great future.”
Southern is a 70-year-old privately held company that operations 15 newspapers in Texas and Alabama. The Constitution will be the company’s 16th newspaper and its first in Oklahoma.