Oxford newspaper sale complete

Published 12:04 am Saturday, May 3, 2014

OXFORD — Oxford Newsmedia, LLC, an affiliate of Boone Newspapers, Inc. (BNI), with offices in Natchez and Tuscaloosa, Ala., completed its purchase Thursday of The Oxford Eagle from members of the Phillips and Vasilyev families.

The sale ends 53 years of ownership by the two families, the longest continuous ownership stretch in the history of the more than 138-year-old institution. The new owners include two Natchez residents.

“We are delighted to be chosen as the successors to the Phillips and Vasliyev families,” said Todd H. Carpenter, Oxford Newsmedia president. “We’ve known the families for years and have much respect for their dedicated work with The Eagle.

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“While we now hold the ‘franchise’ for The Eagle, the newspaper is really owned by the readers. We will work hard to meet every obligation to our readers, customers, employees and all others who have a stake in the future of Oxford and its newspaper.”

Owners of the newly formed Oxford Newsmedia include BNI, Carpenter Newsmedia, LLC (CNL) and key BNI personnel including BNI vice presidents Kevin Cooper and Steve Stewart, each of whom has ties to Oxford.

Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. BNI is controlled by James B. Boone Jr. (Jim), its chairman, who lives in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Carpenter owns CNL, serves as president and chief operating officer of BNI and lives in Natchez.

BNI and CNL also own newspapers in Mississippi including The (Brookhaven) Daily Leader, The Natchez Democrat, The Picayune Item, The Prentiss Headlight, The Poplarville Democrat and The Vicksburg Post.

BNI and Carpenter Newsmedia, along with members of BNI’s management team, own and BNI manages 59 newspapers, 26 community magazines and related websites in similar-sized communities in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Minnesota, Ohio and Michigan.

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.”

Terms of the sale were not disclosed. The newspaper will continue to operate its offices and production facility from its current location at 916 Jackson Ave.