Tidewater News becomes RCNH sister publication

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 9, 2006

FRANKLIN, Va. – The Tidewater News has been sold to Tidewater Publications LLC by Byerly Publications.

Tidewater Publications LLC was newly formed in Virginia to acquire and publish The Tidewater News. This is a twice-weekly newspaper published on Thursdays and Sundays with circulation of approximately 6,700. It serves the City of Franklin, Southampton County and parts of Isle of Wight County and into connecting portions of North Carolina.

It is majority owned by Todd H. Carpenter, president and COO of Boone Newspapers Inc. (BNI).

Others with ownership are BNI and its key personnel, including Jeff Findley, publisher of The Roanoke-Chowan (N.C.) News-Herald and Gates County (N.C.) Index, and Andy Prutsok, publisher of The Suffolk (Va.) News-Herald.

The new publisher of The Tidewater News will be among the new owners and will succeed Hanes Byerly, long-time Tidewater News publisher and owner of Byerly Publications. The new company will be managed by BNI, who for the past five years has worked with publishers of The Suffolk News-Herald, The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald in Ahoskie and The Gates County Index to manage those newspapers.

Carpenter, in addition to his BNI corporate role, is publisher of the BNI-owned daily newspaper, The Natchez (Miss.) Democrat.

&uot;I deeply appreciate the opportunity Hanes Byerly offers our company and me in the opportunity to succeed him with The Tidewater News,&uot; Carpenter said. &uot;He has provided an excellent newspaper and strong foundations to build upon. His successor as publisher of The Tidewater News will be named very soon, will be a person who will live in Franklin and Southampton County and contribute to that community while producing a quality newspaper.&uot;

In his 46 years as owner, Byerly published 4,772 issues of The Tidewater News.

&uot;Many good friends contributed,&uot; Byerly said. &uot;We have been through a lot over the years — a little problem here and a big problem there — but one thing for sure, we shared some happy days. It has been five decades of good memories.&uot;

Byerly said the very core of a newspaper’s strength is &uot;the readers’ feeling of identification with a paper that belongs to them and represents their community.

Jim Boone, who is owner of BNI, and Todd Carpenter share this view,&uot; Byerly said. &uot;The Tidewater News is in good hands.&uot;

Byerly will maintain his Franklin office in the newspaper building at 1000 Armory Drive.

&uot;I share Todd Carpenter’s appreciation for the opportunity Hanes provides him and us,&uot; Jim Boone said. &uot;Hanes and I have been friends since 1962, when I came to Suffolk for seven wonderful years as publisher of The Suffolk News-Herald. He is an editor and publisher I have admired and respected for some 45 years, and he is most deserving of the esteem in which his fellow newspaper publishers hold him.&uot;

Boone’s son and daughter, Buford Boone and Martha Cobbold, own the Suffolk, Ahoskie and Gates County newspapers. Buford lives in the Quantico, Va., area and Cobbold lives with her family in England. Those newspapers are managed by BNI, which now owns and operates newspapers in more than 30 communities in Alabama, Michigan, Mississippi, Minnesota, Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina.

A BNI Web site is maintained at http://www.boonenewspapers.com.