Another couple of US newspapers have changed hands with Louie Mullen taking over the Lennox Independent and Tea Weekly in southeastern South Dakota.
Media merger and acquisition firm Dirks, Van Essen & April, who represented owners Independent Publishing, say the business included community guides for Tea, Lennox and nearby Worthing in fast-growing Lincoln County, as well as providing print and design services.
The Lennox Independent was first published in 1884.
Debbie and Verlyn Schmidt had bought the Lennox Independent in 1997 from Kris Van Zee, who in turn had acquired it from Verlyn Hofer family which had operated it for 64 years. The Schmidts’ daughter, Kelli Bultena, bought into the family business in 2010, the year they started the Tea Weekly, which has recently been named ‘best of the Dakotas’ in the SDNA/NDNA circulation category.
Mullen is part of a second-generation newspaper family, and now owns more than 30 newspapers in seven states – from the upper Midwest to the West Coast – following the acquisition of nearly a dozen titles during the last two years. He is a board member of National Newspaper Association.
“As a kid from Sioux City, I’m grateful and honoured that Kelli and Debbie have put their trust in me to run these newspapers so close to my home and family,” he said. “Weekly newspapers are a much-needed part of the identity and community of our American landscape.
“I’m happy to keep this newspaper independent and vibrant, a reflection of this community.”