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Athens, Cullman, Pell City newspapers sold to media company

CULLMAN — A pair of North Alabama newspapers and one from Pell City were sold today, according to Carpenter Media Group and CNHI.

The Athens News Courier, Cullman Times and St. Clair News Aegis were among 10 newspapers across Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi, and a print facility in Valdosta, Ga., acquired by Carpenter Media.

“Newspapers are bought and sold, but what remains constant is the service our local teams have provided, collectively for the Alabama group of newspapers, for hundreds of years in serving our readers and advertisers in Cullman, Limestone and St. Clair counties,” Tom Mayer, general manager for the Alabama group, said in a news release. “And that certainly won’t change.”

The other newspapers in the sale are The Meridian (Miss.) Star, Dalton (Ga.) Daily Citizen, Milledgeville (Ga.) Union-Recorder, Valdosta (Ga.) Daily Times, Moultrie (Ga.) Observer, Thomasville (Ga.) Times-Enterprise, and the Tifton (Ga.) Gazette.

Donna Barrett, CNHI president and CEO, said she is proud of what the newspapers and their teams have accomplished in serving their communities with meaningful local news.

“It has been our honor to have these newspapers as part of CNHI.” Barrett said in a news release. “We know their good work will continue under Carpenter Media Group.”

Barrett said newspapers are the heartbeat of local life and that CNHI remains strongly committed to community news.

“We believe in local journalism and will continue serving that critical role in CNHI newspapers in 18 states,” she said.

According to the news release, CMG is driven to serve and develop communities through excellent local journalism, guiding the marketing and advertising of its small and medium-sized business customers and developing its team members to grow personally and professionally.

“We are pleased to succeed CNHI in ownership and responsibility for these institutions and the communities they serve,” said Todd Carpenter, chairman of CMG. “We have deep appreciation and respect for the leadership provided by Donna Barrett and her team, and we will work hard to build on the good foundations they put down in each place.”

Prior to chairing CMG, Carpenter was a longtime CEO and director of Boone Newsmedia, which managed newspapers, magazines, websites and other businesses in 12 states. CMG now owns and manages 160 publications in the U.S. and Canada.

Dirks, Van Essen & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, N.M., is representing CNHI in the transaction. Terms were not disclosed.

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