Pamplin Media Group buys Central Oregonian

By: Press Release | Pamplin Media Group

A week after the Oregonian newspaper announced it was scaling back operations, the Portland-based Pamplin Media Group is expanding again.

On Thursday, the Pamplin group concluded a previously arranged deal to purchase the Central Oregonian, which publishes twice a week in Prineville, from Salem-based Eagle Newspapers.

The expansion extends the reach of the Pamplin newspaper group, which already was the largest source of community news in Oregon, said Mark Garber, president of Pamplin’s newspaper division.

The transaction follows a deal in January, when Pamplin purchased six other newspapers from Eagle — the Madras Pioneer, Woodburn Independent, Canby Herald, Newberg Graphic, Molalla Pioneer and Wilsonville Spokesman. It also follows the launch of the Hillsboro Tribune last fall.

Altogether, the Pamplin Media Group, a subsidiary of R.B. Pamplin Corp., now includes 25 community newspapers, plus two radio stations and affiliated websites. The group regularly reaches nearly a million people through its print products, websites and radio stations KPAM AM860 and KKOV AM1550.

Total print distribution for the newspapers, including the most recent acquisition, is 250,000. With an average number of readers per copy of 2.4, that equates to a print readership of approximately 600,000.
“With these recent acquisitions, our company is able to offer more community news and community advertising than any other media in the state,” Garber said. “This latest purchase of the Prineville newspaper also gives us a growing presence in Central Oregon, which, in addition to the metro area, is a major source of news for this state.”

Garber said employees of the Pamplin group look forward to continuing the quality journalism practiced in Prineville by the Central Oregonian and they also look forward to meeting new people in Prineville in the weeks ahead.

“Prineville is a great place for our community newspapers to operate,” he said.

Former U.S. Congressman Denny Smith, chairman of the board of Eagle Newspapers, said he was proud to have been the owner of the Central Oregonian for the past 44 years.

“I’m especially proud of our employees past and present and all they have accomplished to provide readers of Crook County a quality newspaper,” Smith said.

In September 1969, the Central Oregonian was Smith’s first purchase of a newspaper operation, after the death of his father — company founder and former Oregon Gov. Elmo Smith.

Smith said it just made sense to sell Prineville’s operations to Pamplin Media Group, since it had purchased the nearby Madras Pioneer earlier this year.   

“The sale of the Prineville operation only strengthens our relationship” with the Pamplin group, Smith said.

In addition to the recent startup and acquisitions mentioned above, newspapers operated by the Pamplin group include the Portland Tribune, Lake Oswego Review, Gresham Outlook, Beaverton Valley Times, West Linn Tidings, Tigard and Tualatin Times, Oregon City News, Clackamas Review, Sandy Post, Estacada News, South County Spotlight, Forest Grove News-Times, the Bee serving Sellwood and Southeast Portland, the Southwest Community Connection, Boom! Boomers and Beyond, Sherwood Gazette, North Willamette News and King City Regal Courier.

The company also includes a contract publishing division, commercial printing division and an array of specialty publications.

All the community newspapers can be found at In an average month, Pamplin Media Group reporters file nearly 5,000 original local stories to the website.

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