PERRY – Miss. newspapers strong

The Mississippi Press Association (MPA) met last week at its annual summer convention in Biloxi to discuss the challenges its newspaper members face in the current economy and marketplace; engage in workshops to improve content, design and revenue; and recognize staff in various award categories (photography, editorials, news, features, etc).

Owners and publishers displayed improved spirits over recent years. No one expects to return to the time when the advertising department “just picked up the ads” from businesses. But many shared the sentiment that the worst of the recession is behind the community newspaper industry. Meanwhile, the investment value into newspaper is growing again.

Over the past six months, seven Mississippi newspapers have changed hands. Tuscaloosa-based Boone Newspapers and Natchez affiliate Carpenter Media purchased The Brookhaven Daily Leader and Prentiss Headlight from Bill Jacobs whose family has owned and operated the Brookhaven paper since 1958. The group also acquired The Vicksburg Post from Pat Cashman whose family founded the publication in 1883. Boone owns and manages 45 newspapers in eight states including The Natchez Democrat.

Brian Perry