Juneau Empire, Peninsula Clarion owner sold to Mississippi-based newspaper group

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A copy of the Peninsula Clarion’s Wednesday, March 27, 2024 edition on a Kenai newsstand. (Riley Board/KDLL)

The parent company behind three Alaska newspapers has officially been sold to a group of investors, after filing for creditor protection to avoid bankruptcy in January.

Black Press Media is the parent company of Sound Publishing, which owns the Peninsula Clarion, Homer News and Juneau Empire. In addition to those three Alaska papers, Black Press publishes 94 newspapers in Canada, 35 publications in Washington state and six newspapers in Hawaii.

Carpenter Media Group purchased Black Press Media alongside two Canadian investment firms, Canso Investment Counsel and Deans Knight. The sale officially went through Monday.

Carpenter is a Mississippi-based media company that manages 27 publications across eight states: two in Georgia, seven in Kentucky, five in Louisiana, three in Mississippi, four in North Carolina, one in Tennessee, two in Texas and three in Virginia.

In a story uploaded to the Alaskan publications’ websites earlier this week, Black Press CEO Glenn Rogers said the company is dedicated to hyperlocal news.

“With our strong financial position and the support of our new ownership group, our readers and advertisers can count on us to continue delivering the quality journalism and advertising solutions that we are known for,” Rogers said.

In an email Tuesday, Rogers said he could not comment about how the sale will affect the Alaska newspapers because he is no longer CEO.

lengthy affidavit filed in January by Black Press’s corporate finance director, Christopher Hargreaves, says the company will wind down unprofitable businesses, sell properties and lay off employees at its U.S holdings in a plan to mend the company’s finances by the end of the year.

The editors of Black Press’s Alaska publications declined requests for comment. According to court documents, the company’s earnings had “steadily fallen” over the last decade, as print readership declined and advertising revenue dropped. Last spring, Sound Publishing reduced the Clarion and Empire from daily printing to twice-weekly publication, and moved printing off-site.

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