Mullen Acquires Red Oak Express, Glenwood Opinion Tribune
REGIONAL -- The Harlan Newspapers and its parent company, Blackbird LLC, have purchased the Glenwood Opinion-Tribune and its sister newspaper, the Red Oak Express, from Kentucky-based Paxton Media Group.
Blackbird LLC owner J. Louie Mullen is part of a second-generation newspaper family that includes two brothers who also own newspaper companies individually.
“This acquisition means small community journalism will stay alive in Glenwood and Red Oak,” Mullen said. “I’ve been lucky enough to find success in this market and wouldn’t pursue investments in our industry if I didn’t see a bright future.”
Mullen owns newspapers in seven states in the upper Midwest to the West Coast and sits on the board of the National Newspaper Association. He purchased the Harlan Newspapers from longtime owners Steve and Alan Mores in September, 2020.
“I’d like to thank the Paxton Media Group for the opportunity to continue small community journalism and focus on the advancement of our industry,” Mullen said.
Harlan Newspapers Publisher Joshua Byers will serve as regional publisher for all three publications. Byers, recently appointed to the Iowa Association of Business and Industry Board of Directors, said he’s most excited that two businesses with out-of-state ownership will now have Iowa roots.
“These communities deserve a strong journalistic voice and I’m committed to making that happen,” Byers said. “Thanks to Louie a print product will continue to serve these communities.”
Under Byers’ leadership the Harlan Newspapers has continued to grow, particularly in its digital footprint by expanding its social media platforms and digital advertising offerings, as well as providing more regional news coverage.
The sale was finalized Sept. 1.
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