The Grand Haven Tribune is sold to Paxton Media Group

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Paxton Media Group has purchased The Grand Haven Tribune, a daily newspaper in Grand Haven, Mich., from Sandusky Newspapers Inc., according to Randy Cope of Cribb, Greene & Cope who represented Sandusky in the transaction.

Paxton Media is a family-owned company headquartered in Paducah, Ky. The company publishes daily and weekly newspapers in more than 50 communities in the Midwest and South, including The Herald-Palladium in St. Joseph, Mich.

"This business combination provides the financial security needed to assure The Grand Haven Tribune will continue to serve its community long into the future," said David Paxton, president and chief executive officer of Paxton Media Group.

The sale was jointly announced to the newspaper staff Friday by David Rau, CEO of Sandusky Newspapers Inc., and David Holgate, PMG Community Newsgroup, LLC Group president.

"I am excited to have The Grand Haven Tribune and its affiliated properties join our group in Michigan and Indiana," Holgate said. "The synergies that will be created will provide tremendous stability to this newspaper and its employees. And adding another market on the coast of Lake Michigan provides opportunities for collaborative efforts."

Paxton has acquired the Tribune's website and digital operations, the West Michigan News Review and the newspaper's office building in downtown Grand Haven.

"Selling the Tribune was a difficult decision for me and my family," Rau said. "Ultimately we decided that given the tremendous changes in the media business over the past generation, the Tribune and the community would be better served were it owned by a larger company with more scale and resources.

"We were fortunate to be able to turn the paper over to another family company. Paxton has a strong track record and we believe they will be good stewards."

Paxton also acquired from Sandusky the Lebanon Democrat in Lebanon, Tenn.

Rau said the sale of the Grand Haven and Lebanon operations leaves Sandusky with two newspapers in the Ohio group, two daily newspapers and three weeklies in its Northeastern Tennessee group, and interests in a variety of digital operations.  He added the company is exploring strategic options in connection with a possible sale of the Ohio group. 

"Our newspapers and digital operations in Northeastern Tennessee are our largest, and they are not for sale," Rau said.

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