Country Media, Inc. acquires The Cottage Grove Sentinel

Photo by Gerald Santana

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. - News Media Corporation has announced the September 1 sale of the Newport News Times to an Oregon-based media company.

Included in the sale is the Sentinel in Cottage Grove and the Siuslaw News in Florence, along with the three weekly newspapers’ websites, digital products, and specialty publications.

The buyer is Country Media, Inc., which owns eight community newspapers in Oregon and one in northern California.

News Media Corporation, headquartered in Rochelle, IL, has owned up to 75 newspapers and digital companies in nine states. It was founded by the late John C. Tompkins in 1975 and continues the family’s ownership under his son, JJ Tompkins, who serves as president and CEO.

News Media purchased the Siuslaw News in 2000, and the News Times and Cottage Grove Sentinel in 2006.

“News Media Corporation is proud of its 20-plus years doing business in Oregon,” NMC’s JJ Tompkins said. “It has been a successful run and would not have been possible without the many dedicated employees who have worked at these offices. We are so grateful for them.

“When we listed this group, it was important to us to find a company with ties to the coast,” Tompkins added. “We couldn’t be more pleased that Steve and Carol Hungerford of Country Media are the new owners. We know they are committed to local journalism. They have more people and more resources to make these individual publications even stronger.”

Country Media, founded in 2000, also is a family-run company focusing on local journalism. Carol and husband Steve Hungerford oversee the business from the central office in Salem. Veteran newspaper executive David Thornberry, who lives in Florence, serves as Country Media’s chief executive.

“Carol and I are longtime Oregon residents and know full well what Florence, Cottage Grove and Newport mean to this state and its residents,” said Steve Hungerford. “Being involved with these newspapers is a very meaningful step for us and our colleagues.”

“We’re grateful to the Tompkins family for the opportunity to build on their heritage here,” added Carol Hungerford. “We’re committed to sustaining these newspapers for many years to come.”

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