Champion Media announced on Wednesday that it has acquired the North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina print, digital and local assets of Heartland, a Civitas Media company.
The acquisition includes five daily newspapers — The Mount Airy News, Lumberton’s Robesonian, Rockingham Daily Journal, Clinton Sampson Independent and Laurinburg Exchange — as well as 17 weekly newspapers — Surry Scene, The Pilot, The Tribune in Elkin, Elkin’s Yadkin Valley Advertiser, The Yadkin Ripple, The Stokes News, The Carroll News, Jefferson Post, JP Shopper, Your Carolina Connection, Elizabethtown Bladen Journal, Wadesboro Anson Record, Union Times, Union Grapevine, Newberry Observer, Newberry Shopper, and Sentinel-Progress. The acquisition also includes quarterly and monthly magazines including On The Vine, Mayberry Magazine and Homegrown.
The announcement was made by Champion Media CEO Scott T. Champion. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition expands Champion Media Newspapers’ stable of news properties to five dailies and 22 weeklies in North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Minnesota and Virginia.
“This investment strengthens Champion Family Newspapers’ commitment to the local communities of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, serving as a local news source,” Champion said. “The strength of local newspapers is as vital today as they were 50 years ago. We are proud of all the employees that come together each day to bring their communities a credible news product, being either in print or digital.”
The new properties have a combined weekly circulation of about 225,000 households and a monthly digital reach of more than 4 million unique visitors. Most of the newspapers have a rich history of serving their communities for well over 100 years.
Sandy Hurley has joined Champion Media as the new vice president of Sales and Marketing and regional publisher for the Mount Airy News Group, which include The Tribune and The Yadkin Ripple. Hurley has worked in Mount Airy as group publisher and group advertising manager in the past. She started her newspaper career 38 years ago in West Jefferson at the Jefferson Times, now known as the Jefferson Post. She served as publisher there and in Williamson, Pineville and Gilbert, West Virginia, as well as Clinton, North Carolina.
“I’m extremely pleased that Champion Media has acquired our North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina newspapers,” Hurley said. “Scott has a long history of working with community newspapers and his dedication to communities is a key piece for us. We will work diligently to involve our communities and serve readers, viewers and businesses throughout the area. I love calling this area my home and am very fortunate to be here.”
Hurley, and her husband Will, have two sons, Holden and Wes.
“Civitas Media is a leading community newspaper group servicing many local markets in 11 states,” Champion said. “Civitas newspapers have been providing leading news coverage for decades and we intend engaging with its employees to continue enhancing our content coverage and important service across the North Carolina and South Carolina communities.”