Paxton Media Group acquires The Southern Illinoisan newspaper

Nov 1, 2023

PADUCAH, Kentucky — Paxton Media Group (PMG), a family owned media company currently managed by fifth–generation family members, has agreed to purchase The Southern Illinoisan newspaper. Lee Enterprises had owned The Southern Illinoisan since 1979.

Dirks, Van Essen & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is representing Lee Enterprises in the transaction. Terms were not disclosed.

PMG Group Publisher Bill Evans will add The Southern to his stable of media properties located in southern Illinois and western Kentucky. No stranger to southern Illinois, Evans has led the PMG-owned NBC television affiliate for the region, WPSD-TV in Paducah, Kentucky, for the last 23 years. He is also publisher of Paxton’s flagship newspaper The Paducah Sun, and weekly newspapers in Mayfield, Kentucky; Benton, Kentucky; Eddyville, Kentucky; Princeton, Kentucky; and Metropolis, Illinois.

“The SI naturally fits our footprint for community-based journalism. The team of journalists I have the opportunity to lead from our Paducah and southern Illinois newsrooms has covered many of the important stories impacting our hometowns in southern Illinois. I look forward to expanding our coverage. We have the resources to allocate to covering southern Illinois,” said Evans.

Paxton Media Group is a growing media company, having purchased numerous newspapers over the past few years in the Midwest and Southeast. PMG operates more than 120 newspapers in 14 states. Paxton owns six other newspapers in Illinois.

“PMG believes strongly in the value of local newspapers and the vital role they play in the communities they serve. We appreciate being the new steward of this important community asset and intend to work hard to maintain the trust that The Southern has earned over its history,” Jamie Paxton, the president and CEO of PMG said in a statement.

The SI publishes an electronic edition on its website and news app seven days a week. It prints and mails newspapers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. No changes to the print and digital publication days are expected.