By: Press Release | W.B. Grimes & Co.
The Las Cruces Bulletin, along with the award-winning newspaper’s affiliated specialty publications, has been acquired by a family-owned media company in South Carolina. OPC News, LLC, owned by members of the Osteen family in Sumter, S.C., purchased the weekly newspaper from David and Jacqueline McCollum of Las Cruces. The sale closed Monday, Nov. 5.
OPC News is owned by three members of the Osteen family, brothers Graham, Kyle and Jack Osteen.
Rollie Hyde, Senior Associate, with W.B. Grimes & Company represented the McCollum’s in the sale.
In a statement, the brothers said they were attracted to the Bulletin because of the quality of the Las Cruces community and the paper’s strong brand. “Las Cruces is a great community with a large audience that traditionally loves to read newspapers. David and Jaki have put together a superb organization over the years, and we are thankful they selected us to keep their tradition of newspapering alive,” the brothers said in a statement.
Richard Coltharp, general manager of The Las Cruces Bulletin since 2010, has been named publisher of the newspaper. Coltharp has 27 years of experience at six different newspaper organizations, and has worked in southern New Mexico since 1995. He will report to Larry Miller, chief executive officer of Osteen Publishing Co., Inc., and OPC News. Miller works out of his office in South Carolina and will be in the New Mexico market frequently. An Oklahoma native, Miller has 35 years of experience at newspapers throughout the country, and has been associated with Osteen Publishing since 2007.
“This is a solid operation with a great staff and we don’t expect any significant changes in how The Bulletin gathers and disseminates news and advertising,” Miller said. The brothers are partners, along with their father, in Osteen Publishing Co., a Sumter newspaper operation that has been in the family for more than a century. They also operate three publications serving the Jacksonville, Fla., area. Clay Today and The Ponte Vedra Recorder are weekly newspapers, and Car Connection is a weekly magazine serving Jacksonville-area automobile dealers.
‘A perfect fit’
David and Jaki McCollum founded FIG Publications, LLC, in 2003 and immediately acquired The Las Cruces Bulletin, a weekly newspaper based in southern New Mexico since its founding in 1969.
In regard to their decision to sell the newspaper, David said, “We were not necessarily interested in selling The Bulletin. However, when we met the Osteens and learned about their five-generation dedication to the newspaper business, along with their style of building personal relationships, we knew immediately that we could not have found a more perfect fit. We are very comfortable that the Osteens are exactly the type of people who will build on established relationships and continue the success the Bulletin has achieved over the past nine years.” In 2003, the Bulletin was struggling for survival with a handful of loyal local advertisers and readers. However, the McCollums saw the potential for converting the publication into a full-fledged community newspaper.
With David’s 40-plus years of experience working with corporate daily newspapers and a three-year hiatus as a manager of a large Southwest-based advertising agency, along with Jaki’s business degree from Oklahoma State University, the husband-wife team developed a sound marketing strategy to produce a community-oriented newspaper with feature-style writing, populated with local photographs and stories about local people and events. The Bulletin quickly grew and soon began to earn statewide and national recognition, and became known for its unique, high-quality niche publications. In 2012, Bulletin staff members earned 16 state and 22 national awards for editorial, advertising and design excellence.
David was named a Top-Performing CEO in New Mexico in 2009 and was named Las Cruces Citizen of the Year in 2006. Jaki is currently on the board of the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce and has been active in supporting local Las Cruces charities. David and Jaki were honored together as Paul Harris Fellows in 2010 by Rotary International. The McCollums have three children and five grandchildren.