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Brookhaven, Prentiss newspapers purchased by company with Natchez ties

NATCHEZ — The Brookhaven Daily Leader and The Prentiss Headlight newspapers, related websites and affiliated publications have been sold to Brookhaven Newsmedia LLC, a newly formed Mississippi Company owned in part by two Natchez residents.

The transaction was legally closed Monday.

Todd Carpenter

Brookhaven Newsmedia LLC is majority owned by Boone Newspapers Inc., with offices in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Natchez, and Carpenter Media LLC, a company owned by BNI’s president and chief operating officer, Todd H. Carpenter. Others with ownership are key BNI personnel including Kevin Cooper, publisher of The Natchez Democrat and a vice president of BNI.

Carpenter and Cooper will both continue to live and work in Natchez.

The sale ends more than 50 years of ownership and operation of The Daily Leader for the Brookhaven community by the Jacobs family. Charles R. Jacobs purchased the newspaper from Dalton Brady in 1958. Bill and Amy Jacobs acquired The Prentiss Headlight in 1985, and then purchased The Daily Leader from his family in 1995.

Kevin Cooper

Jacobs is succeeded as publisher of The Daily Leader and The Prentiss Headlight by Rick Reynolds who formerly headed Granite Publications, a group of community newspapers in Texas. In addition to his Brookhaven and Prentiss duties, Reynolds also becomes a vice president of BNI and will have group management responsibilities relating to other BNI operations. Prior to Granite, Reynolds worked with BNI as a vice president and as president and publisher of its newspaper in Troy, Ala. He met Daily Leader and Headlight employees Tuesday and begins work immediately. Reynolds’ wife, Patti, will soon join him in Brookhaven. They have two grown children, Brian and Kinsey, both of whom live in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Rick Reynolds

BNI owns and manages 44 newspapers, 26 community magazines and related websites in similar-sized communities in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Minnesota, Ohio and Michigan. James B. Boone, Jr., of Tuscaloosa, is BNI’s chairman and chief executive officer.

BNI has a rich history of quality newspapers and other publications in the communities it serves, explained in part by Boone’s corporate philosophy: “We seek to produce the highest quality product the economics of the community served can support. And then, by ingenuity and imagination, we strive for a higher quality in an effort to serve and build that community.”

Carpenter said he is “deeply appreciative of the confidence Bill Jacobs and his family have placed in us as their successors, and we will work hard to merit that confidence. Our friendship with Bill and his family goes back many years, and during that time we have developed a deep respect for how Bill leads his operation and his community. Our hope is to build on the strong foundations put down by the Jacobs and quality people who work with him at the newspapers.”

“We are pleased Rick Reynolds has joined us as president and publisher. His steady leadership and knowledge of community newspapers will be important to us and to our employees during the transition and thereafter,” Carpenter said. “Rick and Patti will be an asset to the community and to any organizations in which they participate. All will work hard to meet our every obligation to readers, customers, employees and all who have a stake in the newspapers and their future.”