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Republic Newspapers, Inc. of Knoxville, Tennessee, parent company of the Kings Mountain (NC) Herald, has announced the sale of the Herald to Gemini Newspapers, Inc., of Port St. Joe, Florida, effective Friday, August 1, according to Gary Greene of Cribb, Greene & Associates, who represented the seller in the transaction.

Republic, who also publishes newspapers in Tennessee, acquired the Herald, along with The (Cherryville) Eagle, The Belmont Banner, and The Mount Holly News in March 1989 from Greene Newspapers. Prior to Greene’s ownership, the papers had been owned for many years by Garland Atkins.

Gemini Newspapers, Inc., owned by Ron Isbell and Dwight Connelly, owns no other newspapers. Ron, and his wife, Wendy, will be moving to the area very soon. He plans to give his full attention to the Herald and its sister newspapers in Cherryville, Belmont, and Mount Holly.

In announcing the sale, Republic’s President, Nick W. Drewry said, “Our association with the people in Gaston and Cleveland counties has been wonderful. Over the last 19 plus years, we have had some outstanding newspaper staff at the Herald. The staff has served Kings Mountain well, and has produced an excellent newspaper for the area, and I would expect that to continue under Ron’s leadership. All of us at Republic Newspapers will miss working with them.”

Isbell said he and his wife are looking forward to becoming a part of the community. “We believe a locally-owned press is important to every small community and are anxious to contribute what we can to Kings Mountain, Cherryville, Belmont, and Mt. Holly. Bill Parsons and his staff have done a wonderful job of moving these papers forward. I’m glad to be able to work with all of them. These are very good newspapers staffed by people who care deeply about the communities and the people they cover.”

Gemini Newspapers had owned The Gadsden County Times in Quincy, FL. and sold that newspaper in 2007. Isbell and Connelly have owned newspapers together and separately in Illinois, Indiana, and Florida. Isbell has managed other newspapers in Christiansburg and Radford, Virginia and Crawfordville, Port St. Joe and Apalachicola, Florida. Connelly has divided his career between journalism and teaching. While retired, he will be assisting with special projects.

Cribb, Greene & Associates is an eighty-five year old newspaper brokerage company with offices in Virginia, Missouri, and Montana.

Published July 31, 2008

Kings Mountain, NC