Turning the Page: Daniel Richardson's journey to restore local news to Tennessee towns.


Daniel Richardson, a Marine Corp veteran, UT Martin business management graduate and former CEO of Magic Valley Publishing, is making waves in the world of local community media. With a vision to bolster local journalism, Richardson has reopened several recently closed Tennessee newspapers once owned by Holler Media, adding to his growing media empire under the new Richardson Media Group banner.

Richardson’s company now encompasses nine Tennessee titles, including The Fentress Courier, Livingston Enterprise, Citizen Statesman, the Jackson County Sentinel and Shelbyville Times-Gazette, formerly owned by Holler Media.

Richardson's journey into media ownership is deeply rooted in family tradition. His late father, Dennis Richardson, another UT Martin alumnus, initiated the family's involvement in journalism by acquiring the Carroll County News in 1983, marking the genesis of Magic Valley Publishing.

The inception of Richardson Media Group emerged when Apex Bank sought assistance from him to revive several shuttered newspapers in Middle Tennessee, that were owned and shut down by Holler Media.

During this exclusive interview with E&P Publisher Mike Blinder, Richardson revealed, "The bank reached out to me to reopen some publications that they had financed and had subsequently been closed. Apex didn't want to see the communities without newspapers. They didn't want to see the newspapers shut down. However, at the end of the day, they're also responsible to their shareholders. They wanted to recover as much of the capital as they could, which required an ongoing business that was marketable and sellable.”

When asked about how those communities he is now serving initially reacted to the loss and then saving of their local newspapers, Richardson stated: “A newspaper is something that I think most communities take for granted. You don't think much about it until it's gone.” Richardson added: “These towns had a terrible experience with a previous publisher. So, how did they know that I would be any different?  It wasn’t real to them until there was a pretty newspaper in their mailbox and on the newsstands. That is a big testament to the power of printed media. The website stayed up. But it's just not the same.”


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