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Company with Natchez ties purchases Tenn. newspaper

Published 12:01am Sunday, January 5, 2014

Staff reports

NATCHEZ — Elizabethton Newsmedia LLC, an affiliate of Boone Newspapers Inc., with offices in Natchez, and Tuscaloosa, Ala., completed its purchase of the Elizabethton Star, related websites and affiliated publications Thursday.

The sale ends more than 50 years of ownership and operation of the newspaper by the Robinson family. Frank Robinson was named publisher of The Star in 1955 and purchased the newspaper in 1977. Members of the Robinson family have owned and operated the newspaper since.

Elizabethton native Mark Stevens is publisher of the Elizabethton Star and will continue in that role.

Majority owners of the newly formed company are Carpenter Newsmedia LLC, a company owned by BNI’s president and chief operating officer, Todd H. Carpenter of Natchez, and members of the Boone family.

Other BNI key personnel hold ownership including BNI vice president and The Natchez Democrat Publisher Kevin Cooper.

“We appreciate the Robinson and Goodwin families who are entrusting us with the future of the Elizabethton Star and the people we will work with there in serving Elizabethton, Carter and Johnson counties and those whose publications the Star prints,” Carpenter said. “We will work hard to merit that trust.”

BNI owns and manages 48 newspapers, 27 community magazines and related websites in similar-sized communities in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Minnesota, Ohio and Michigan.

Elizabethton is the organization’s first acquisition in Tennessee.

James B. Boone Jr., of Tuscaloosa, is BNI’s chairman and chief executive officer.