The Zephyrhills News was sold January 31, 2003, by Republic Newspapers, after 15 years of ownership by the Tennessee media company, according to Gary Greene of Cribb & Associates, who represented the seller in this transaction.
Scripps Newspapers Inc. purchased the 92-year-old publication and plans to keep the hometown feel and focus intact. “Our primary goal is to maintain local leadership and the same level of contact and commitment to the community,” said Barry Scripps, chairman of Scripps Newspapers.
Republic Newspapers was founded in January 1988 with the purchase of the Zephyrhills News by chairman, Doug Horne. President Nick Drewry said, “It is with mixed feelings that we sell the Zephyrhills News. Our company is turning its focus toward newspaper and radio properties in Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Carolinas, and because of that we are pleased to be passing the ownership of the News to Barry Scripps.”
Drewry said he feels that the ownership of the Zephyrhills News has been placed in good hands. “He (Scripps) is a man who comes from a very respected and long-term newspaper family,” Drewry said.
“No personal changes are expected,” said Scripps. “Chris Drews will remain as publisher and Dave Hasselman as editor.”
“A change in ownership will not change the commitment that we have and will continue to have of being a responsible member of the community,” Drews said. “If something has worked for 92 years, you certainly don’t want to mess with the formula that made it successful, and the Zephyrhills News has been successful because of its ties to the people and businesses in our town.”
Cribb & Associates is the oldest publishing brokerage firm in the United States with offices in Montana, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Florida.