American Hometown Publishing, the Nashville-based community newspaper chain started by the founder of the small-town weekly magazine American Profile, has expanded its West Tennessee holdings by buying interests in three Gibson County weeklies and a printing plant.
AHP is purchasing the Humboldt Chronicle (circulation: 3,500) and The Tri-City Reporter in Dyer (circ.: 2,100) outright, along with an unspecified percentage interest in the The Gazette of Trenton (circ.: 3,500). It is also buying Humboldt-based West Tennessee Publishing, a printer affiliated with the Chronicle. The seller is InfoStructure News Media, based in Chicago.
The purchase price was not disclosed.
Last month, AHP bought three West Tennessee papers in markets adjacent to those of the newly acquired operations: The Brownsville States-Graphic, The Covington Leader and the Henderson-based Chester County Independent. The company also has newspapers in rural areas of Virginia and Oklahoma.
Local entrepreneur Dan Hammond formed AHP in late 2005. Its strategy is to acquire and manage community newspapers of 25,000 circulation or less by forming partnerships with local publishers. He said today that all personnel at the acquired newspapers will keep their jobs. Hammond noted that the West Tennessee Publishing purchase, in tandem with printing operations in nearby Henderson that were part of last month's deal, "gives us significant press operations in the region."
Hammond added: "We will continue to be on this acquisition pace for the next number of years, concentrating our efforts in Tennessee, Oklahoma and Virginia and other states within the region."
Hammond previously founded Franklin-based Publishing Group of America. In April 2000, that company launched American Profile as a homey alternative to Sunday inserts such as Parade magazine. With a circulation of 1.1 million, distributed through nearly 500 smaller newspapers, Profile represented one of the largest publishing launches in American history.
Funding for AHP comes from a group of investors led by Solidus Co. and including Mike Blackburn’s Petra Capital Partners, Lucius Burch’s Burch Investment Group and others.
Note: The Solidus Co. is the majority owner of the parent company of NashvillePost.com, and Dan Hammond is a director of that company.
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