140-Year Family Ownership Ends For Kentucky Newspaper

The Bowling Green Daily News, a family-owned newspaper serving the city in Kentucky, announced this week it has been sold to Carpenter Newsmedia, an affiliate of Boone Newspapers Inc., itself a family-owned organization based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

The Daily News had been owned by the Gaines family of Bowling Green for 140 years. The sale is expected to close June 30.

The transaction includes the Daily News and four other publications: the Country Peddler weekly shopper and three magazines: Bowling Green Home and Lifestyles, South Central Kentucky Homes, and Auction Guide.

The earliest roots of the Daily News date to 1854, and the Gaines ownership has been steady since John B. Gaines founded the Bowling Green Daily Times in 1882, according to an account published in the Daily News on Tuesday. The merger of the Daily Times and the Bowling Green Democrat established the predecessor of the Daily News.



Pipes Gaines, Daily News publisher emeritus and co-owner of the newspaper along with his sons, Publisher Scott Gaines and Editor Steve Gaines, said it was a difficult decision. “For 140 years, it’s been an incredible legacy,” he said. “Over the decades we have put out a quality product that has served our advertisers and readers very well. We didn’t do this by ourselves. The employees who work here now or in the past have had a major part in any success we have had.”

Boone Newspapers, meanwhile, owns or manages more than 90 newspapers and other publications in 12 states, including several in Kentucky, according to the company’s website. BNI’s controlling stockholder is Chairman Jim Boone of Tuscaloosa. His wife and children own all other stock in the company.

Todd H. Carpenter, based in Natchez, Mississippi, is the company’s president and CEO. Carpenter said BNI does not take lightly the standard set by the Gaines family in its many decades of Daily News ownership.

“We are pleased and proud to be chosen by the Gaines family as their successor in responsibility for the newspaper,” Carpenter said in the report. “We look forward to getting started and meeting the staff, rolling up our sleeves and getting to work in support of their efforts to serve readers and advertisers.”

The Gaines family’s company, News Publishing LLC, will retain ownership of the Daily News’ downtown office building. The family will also remain owners of two local radio stations WDNS 93.3 FM and WKCT 104.1 FM/930 AM.

Pipes Gaines said BNI’s track record of solid stewardship of community newspapers was a key factor in its selection as the next owner of the Daily News. “Two considerations were very important to us,” Gaines said. “We were choosing a buyer that had the same strong commitment to quality and strong community journalism, and we were looking for a buyer that would treat our coworkers the way we would want them to be treated.”

The sale was brokered by Randy Cope, a Bella Vista, Arkansas-based director of the M&A firm Cribb, Cope & Potts.

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