Arkansas-based Crittenden Publishing Co., Inc., and Tennessee-based Germantown Publishing Co., Inc., have sold their newspapers and related publications to Paxton Media Group, effective Dec. 31, 2019.
The Paxton Media Group purchase includes The West Memphis (Ark.) Evening Times, a paid circulation daily newspaper, and Germantown (Tenn.) News, a paid-circulation weekly newspaper. Crittenden’s associated digital properties were also included in the sale.
Office locations for the two companies are in Marion, Ark., and Germantown, Tenn. Crittenden Publishing is owned by J. Thomas Ricketson, of Lake City, Fla., and The Evening Times publisher, Alex Coulter. Ricketson purchased The Evening Times in 1974 and Coulter has been the publisher of The Evening Times since Ricketson purchased the newspaper in 1974.
Germantown Publishing is owned by Crittenden Publishing and Ricketson. The company was purchased by Crittenden and Ricketson in 1978. Ricketson over a long career owned numerous daily and weekly newspapers and shoppers in Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Colorado. His career in the newspaper industry began at the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, and included lead management positions with Cowles Communications, and Jefferson Pilot newspapers. Coulter has worked closely with Ricketson since the 1960s and shared management responsibilities for Ricketson newspapers, along with ownership.
Paxton Media is a family-owned company headquartered in Paducah, Ky. The company publishes daily and weekly newspapers in more than 50 communities in the Midwest and South. “This business combination creates a strong regional presence for us as it fits well with our other properties in Northeast Arkansas,” said Jamie Paxton, CFO of PMG. Reece Terry, ARLAMS group publisher, will oversee management of both The Times and Germantown News, according to David Holgate, PMG Community Newsgroup, LLC, group president.
Other PMG newspapers in Arkansas include Jonesboro’s Jonesboro Sun, Conway’s Log Cabin Democrat, Clinton’s Van Buren County Democrat, Newport Independent, The Batesville Daily Guard, Russellville’s The Courier, Searcy’s The Daily Citizen, and The Paragould Daily Press. Lon Williams, of Media America Brokers, in Atlanta, represented Crittenden Publishing and Germantown Publishing in the sale.