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Lakeway Publishers expands with purchase of newspapers in Florida

Posted on Monday, May 6, 2013 at 8:25 am

Lakeway Publishers, Inc. announced Wednesday the acquisition of a group of newspapers and shoppers in Central Florida and the creation of Lakeway Publishers of Florida, Inc.

The new Lakeway Publishers group will be comprised of newspapers formerly owned and operated by Sun Publications of Florida, Inc., a division of Independent Publications, Inc.

Publications involved are the Osceola News-Gazette in Kissimmee, Clermont News Leader, Four Corners News Leader, The Triangle News Leader, The Sumter Shopper and the Pasco Shopper. Sun Publications also publishes the Poinciana Pioneer and Harmony Notes, in conjunction with the homeowners associations in their respective communities and specializes in offset web printing for numerous customers throughout the region and southeast.

“We are pleased that IPI selected our company to continue the traditions of community journalism in these communities. Each of the papers is dedicated to providing quality coverage of news and events that their readers are interested in,” said R. Jack Fishman, president of Lakeway. “We hope to build on this record of success both in print, on the web and on mobile over the next few months. We believe people are what matter and we feel that the excellent staff at each of the properties is committed to this cause.”

Dennis Wilkinson, vice president of Sun Publications said his team is excited about being a part of Lakeway Publishers. “We look forward to growing and expanding under the Lakeway Group,” Wilkinson said. “It is important for us to continue our local coverage for our readers, and we think that this move will enable us to continue our progress.”

Wilkinson will become vice president of Lakeway Publishers of Florida.

Lakeway Publishers began as a single daily and Sunday newspaper, the Citizen Tribune in Morristown – in 1966 with Fishman as editor/publisher. Since then, Lakeway Publishers, Inc. was formed and acquired newspaper groups in Middle Tennessee, Missouri and Virginia. With the addition of the Sun Publications acquisition the company now operates 31 newspapers of general circulation, several speciality and general publications and maintains a full digital presence on the web and mobile devices.

Among the papers comprising Lakeway Publishers of Missouri are The Lincoln County Journal, The Troy Free Press and The Elsberry Democrat in Lincoln County. Kathy Colbert is the publisher of the Free Press and Journal with Mike Short the general manager of the Democrat. Walt Gilbert is the vice-president of Lakeway Publishers of Missouri. Other Lakeway papers in Missouri serve the communities of Lake Saint Louis, Bowling Green, Louisiana, Monroe City, Vandalia, Hermann, New Haven and Centralia. They also own Press Journal Printing in Louisiana. All the papers have a comprehensive website and social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Textcaster to bring you the latest local community news as it happens.

“The recent expansion is a logical step in strengthening the company’s resolve in the industry”, Fishman said. “We believe in the future of journalism, specifically community journalism, reporting the news and telling the stories that make a difference in peoples lives and the communities we serve. We believe the future is bright for community journalism , whether it’s in print, online or through mobile devices,” Fishman continued.