Merger creates large print media in southern Alabama

Sep 13, 2023

Business Valuation Consulting

After months of negotiations, Gray & Gray Inc. has merged with investors to form Deep South Media Group LLC of Citronelle, creating what is likely the largest print media group in southern Alabama.

The merger includes these eight publications — the Call News, Washington County News, Shoppers Plus, the outdoors guide and the Mobile Record — under a corporate umbrella that includes the Thomasville Times, Clarke County Democrat and the South Alabamian, three Clarke County publications which were owned by Jim Cox and Linda Breedlove.

Willie Gray, the longtime publisher of the Call News and Washington County News, will remain as the company’s manager of business operations and co-publisher Rhonda Gray will remain as the legals manager.

The merger was facilitated with the help of Lewis Floyd / Business Valuation Consulting, LLC

Mr.  Gray emphasized that positive changes are in store for all the publications.

“We are really excited about the opportunity that we have with this organization and I believe our current and future readers will share in our excitement,” Gray said. “While the first wave of changes will be most noticeable in Clarke County with a new look and format, there are also changes coming for our publications in Mobile and Washington counties as we prepare to roll out a new digital format that we believe will enhance all of our publications and expanded print coverage.”

Gray said all staff members are being retained and new staff will be added in all three counties.

“We will immediately begin increasing our staff by adding sales positions, writers and support staff,” Gray said.  Resumes for any of those positions can be sent via email to

The owners and employees of all five newspapers said they are committed to expanding the weekly newspapers serving their communities in an era when larger newspapers are struggling.

“These newspapers are vital to each of the communities that they serve,” Gray said. “They are the legacies of the Breedlove, Cox and Gray families and we want to continue that tradition. But at the end of the day, a community newspaper belongs to the community that supports it. We will continue to invest resources into these communities, employ local people, expose corruption and brag on everything that is good.”   These are the ingredients of successful community publications which encourage everyone to support their local newspapers.