Gannett, continuing its practice of flipping small local news brands it has acquired, is selling a group of publications to Vernon Publishing. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
The transaction is expected to close on September 1, according to USA Today Network.
The publications include the Lake Sun, Lake of the Ozarks Real Estate, BOATS magazine, Lake Leader, Lake Lifestyles
Magazine and Vacation News.
Vernon Publishing is a family business that also owns The Advertiser in Eldon, The Index in Hermitage and The Tipton Times, according to News & Tech. The family includes Molly, Dane, Sharene and Trevor Vernon, who serves as mayor of Eldon, Missouri.
“We are excited for the opportunity to publish this group of publications around the Lake of the Ozarks,” states Trevor Vernon, publisher.
“These publications are a natural fit with the others we currently own. The future of these publications and the area is looking bright,” he adds.
A recent report jointly published by Northwestern University’s Medill News Initiative and Poynter showed that Gannett had sold 23 local publications.
“Having been approached by prospective buyers, we’ve carefully considered what was best for both our company and the community, and we’re pleased that in several situations, a local owner will continue to lead these brands into the future,” said Bernie Szachara, head of Gannett’s U.S. publishing operations, according to Poynter.
Penny Abernathy, creator of the influential “news deserts” reports and visiting professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, said: “All things being equal, local ownership is always best for the community where the newspaper is located,” according to Poynter. “That’s because a local owner is going to know that market and the residents.”