Paddock closes deal to buy central Illinois weeklies
Paddock Publications Friday announced that it closed on the acquisition of four central Illinois newspapers and a printing plant.
Weeklies in Farmersville, Girard, Palmyra and Virden, just south of Springfield, were acquired from Gold Nugget Publications. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"As we know, challenges lie ahead for newspapers, but Paddock is positioned well to deal with the ongoing dynamic changes, in particular through these community newspapers," said Daily Herald Publisher and CEO Douglas K. Ray. "We are so pleased that one of the primary owners, Nathan Jones, sought us out as a possible buyer. The family's legacy of community newspapering is long and honored, and family members felt Paddock's commitment to community service and journalism presented a natural fit."
Paddock said on Nov. 7 that it intended to buy the papers as part of its strategy to expand and diversify its assets. Nathan and Norris Jones, two of the primary owners of Gold Nugget, were college classmates of Ray, and Nathan Jones serves with him on the board of directors of the Illinois Press Association Foundation.
This latest transaction will bring Paddock's downstate and central Illinois newspaper total to 16. Others include five small dailies: the Benton Evening News, The Daily Register in Harrisburg, The Daily Republican in Marion, DuQuoin Evening Call and Eldorado Daily Journal. They were purchased along with seven nearby weeklies from GateHouse Media LLC.