TN gains N.C. affiliate

Published 9:15 am Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Washington (N.C.) Daily News has been sold to Washington Newsmedia LLC, a newly formed North Carolina company owned in part by the publisher of The Tidewater News.

The transaction was legally closed last Wednesday. Agreement in general for the transaction was reached in June, and the final details were worked out in recent weeks.

Washington Newsmedia LLC is majority owned by Todd H. Carpenter, president and chief operating officer of Boone Newspapers Inc. Others with ownership are BNI and its key personnel, including Tidewater News Publisher Steve Stewart, who is a vice president of BNI.

Stewart, who leads BNI’s affiliates in Virginia and North Carolina, will continue to live and work in Franklin.

Ray McKeithan succeeds Ashley B. “Brownie” Futrell Jr. as publisher of the Washington Daily News, which publishes six days a week with paid circulation of more than 8,000 in Washington, Beaufort County and neighboring counties. McKeithan had served the former owners as associate publisher and general manager since 2001.

The newspaper will be managed by BNI, which is owned principally by its chairman, James B. “Jim” Boone Jr. of Tuscaloosa, Ala. The company publishes more than 30 daily and weekly newspapers in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota.

The Daily News had been operated by the Futrell family since 1949, when the late Ashley B. Futrell Sr. became its publisher. The newspaper marked its 100th year of publication in 2009.

“It has been the honor of my lifetime to continue my family’s stewardship of the Washington Daily News,” said Futrell. “We have been blessed and humbled by the many acts of kindness and support demonstrated to us over the years, and we will be forever grateful to the people of the Pamlico area. In Boone Newspapers we have found a partner who shares our vision of community service and quality journalism and is committed to extending the legacy established by my father.”

Stewart said he is “deeply appreciative of the confidence Brownie Futrell and his family have placed in us as their successors, and we will work hard to merit that confidence.”