An agreement has been reached in principle for sale of operating assets and real estate of The Panolian by its owners John and Rupert Howell. The sale is expected to close effective January l, 2018.
The buyer will be Batesville Newsmedia, LLC (BNL), a subsidiary of Boone Newspapers, Inc. (BNI) and Carpenter Newsmedia, LLC (CNL) of Tuscaloosa, Ala. and Natchez. BNI and CNL own and manage newspapers, websites and community magazines in similar sized communities in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Michigan, Mississippi, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. Other Mississippi newspapers under BNI management are in Oxford, Brookhaven, Natchez, Picayune, Poplarville, Prentiss and Vicksburg. The companies also own and manage a statewide news website, magnoliastatelive.com.
Area native and veteran publisher David Magee, who is a BNI vice president and publisher of The Oxford Eagle, is a co-owner of BNL and will lead the newspaper. Magee, who is a 1984 graduate of West Panola Academy in Batesville and the University of Mississippi, cited the common ownership of the Oxford and Batesville newspapers as good for both publications and the communities served.
“We are honored to succeed the Howells and appreciate the strong foundations they put down for this newspaper,” Magee said. “Community newspapers and media remain excellent businesses and vital servants of communities like ours. The close proximity of Batesville and Oxford offers numerous opportunities to better serve readers and advertisers by sharing resources and with the reach of multiple media products for Panola and Lafayette counties. We will see that our obligations are fulfilled to these communities and the Howell Family.”
Due diligence is underway now toward completion of the transaction. Lewis Floyd, SR Associate with W B Grimes represented the seller in this transaction.