J. Louis Mullen acquires the Red Oak (Iowa) Express and Glenwood (Iowa) Opinion Tribune from Paxton Media Group

Sep 22, 2021

Paxton Media Group (PMG) announced Sept. 1 that it has sold Southwest Iowa Publishing Company LLC to Red Oak Publications LLC owned by J. Louis Mullen.

Mullen is part of a second-generation newspaper family which includes two brothers who also own newspaper companies individually. J. Louis Mullen owns newspapers in seven states in the upper Midwest to the West Coast and sits on the board of the National Newspaper Association.

The two Iowa newspapers were two of the 46 newspaper operations PMG acquired from Landmark Community Newspapers LLC earlier this year. "PMG does not otherwise have a presence in Iowa and we prefer to focus on our current footprint," Jamie Paxton, CEO of PMG, said. "We felt the Iowa papers would be better served by an owner with closer geographic ties."

Dirks, Van Essen & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented Paxton Media Group in the transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Mullen said, "I’d like to thank Paxton Media Group for the opportunity to continue small community journalism and focus on the advancement of our industry. 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."

Paxton Media Group is a family-owned company founded in 1896 and based in Paducah, Kentucky. The company publishes 116 community newspapers in 13 states, 37 of which are daily newspapers, as well as related web sites in each of those communities. The company also operates the NBC-affiliated TV station based in Paducah that serves the 84th largest DMA (of 210) in the United States.