The Kilgore News Herald has been acquired by M. Roberts Media, owner of the Longview News-Journal, Tyler Morning Telegraph, The Marshall News Messenger and other newspapers.
The acquisition was announced to employees today. Terms of the deal between M. Roberts Media and News Herald owner Bluebonnet Publishing Co. LLC were not disclosed.
“The News Herald, with its long history of support of Kilgore and Gregg and Rusk counties, is a great fit with our family-owned company,” said Stephen N. McHaney, president of M. Roberts Media. “The News Herald’s strong staff and outstanding local news coverage will provide new opportunities for us to better serve all our East Texas readers, customers and business partners.”
In East Texas, M. Roberts Media also owns the biweekly The Panola Watchman in Carthage. In South Texas, it owns the daily Victoria Advocate.
Bill Woodall, managing partner of Bluebonnet Publishing Co., said readers, advertisers and employees of the News Herald would be well served by M. Roberts Media.
“We’re extraordinarily proud of the newspaper produced by our staff and proud of the newspaper’s contribution to the cities and school districts we cover,” Woodall said. “But this is a changing industry and the News Herald needs an owner with the energy and the resources to move it into a new era of local news – an era in which print and digital platforms will merge transparently; M. Roberts Media has both the energy and the resources.”
The Kilgore News Herald has roots stretching back to the early days of the East Texas oil boom and has changed hands several times. It represents the 1940 consolidation of the Kilgore Daily News, established in 1931, and the Kilgore Herald, founded in 1935. Then a daily publication, the News Herald was owned by longtime publisher Charles K. Devall, who sold it in 1979 to Donrey Media Group of Arkansas. The newspaper was acquired in 1998 by Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. of Alabama and was later acquired by Bluebonnet Publishing.
The acquisition will be seamless for readers, advertisers and the News Herald’s other business partners as the combined companies collaborate to ensure all aspects of service are enhanced, said M. Roberts CEO Dick Franks.
Jerry Pye will assume duties as publisher of the Kilgore News Herald. He also oversees The Marshall News Messenger and The Panola Watchman.