The Farmville Herald is sold to Boone Newspapers

Published 10:36 am Friday, May 8, 2015

Farmville Newsmedia, LLC, a new Virginia entity wholly owned by Carpenter Newsmedia, LLC, purchased The Farmville Herald from the Wall family, the news organization announced Friday.

The sale ends three generations of ownership of The Farmville Herald by the Wall family. Carpenter Newsmedia is an affiliate of Boone Newspapers, Inc., which has offices in Natchez, Miss., and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“The Herald celebrates its 125th birthday in 2015 and the 94th year the paper has been published by the Wall family,” said in a press release third-generation Publisher Steve Wall, whose grandfather J.B. Wall purchased the newspaper in 1921. “The industry has undergone major changes in the last couple of years. My dad, Bill, who joined the staff in 1954, is planning to completely retire, and after 37 years in the business full time, I’m ready for another newspaper family to take the helm.

“There is an incredible amount of new technology out there which we need to incorporate, and I’m too stubborn to embrace the digital platform,” he said. “Retail has changed and our community has changed. We need professionals like Boone and Carpenter to take The Herald to the next level.”

Boone Newspapers Vice President Steve Stewart, a veteran newspaperman who most recently published the Suffolk News-Herald and The Tidewater News in Franklin, succeeds Steve Wall as publisher. Todd Carpenter, of Natchez, is Boone’s president and chief executive officer and is principal owner of Carpenter Newsmedia. James B. Boone, Jr., of Tuscaloosa, is BNI’s chairman.

Stewart, a University of Mississippi graduate, leads BNI’s East Coast Group, which includes newspapers in Suffolk, Franklin, Ahoskie, N.C., Washington, N.C., and Salisbury, N.C., in addition to The Herald. Stewart has more than two decades of experience as a community newspaper publisher.

“I count it a privilege to succeed Steve Wall as publisher in Farmville,” Stewart said in a release. “We will work hard to honor the Wall family’s legacy and publish a first-rate newspaper and related print and digital products that are interesting to readers and thus provide good marketing solutions for local businesses. Farmville is a vibrant community with a rich history, and we look forward to chronicling its people, places and institutions for many years to come.”

The Herald has published continuously in Farmville since 1890.

“I hope we have been a driving, positive force in the Heart of Virginia,” Wall said. “Our motto ‘Honor for the past, help for the present, hope for the future’ is as important as ever to the growth of this community and the surrounding area. The new owners will inherit one of the finest staffs — from production and delivery to advertising and editorials — of newspaper people in the state.

They work under the constant pressure of deadlines and never slow down. News never sleeps. When we finish one paper we start on the next edition.”

Cribb, Greene & Associates of Charlottesville represented the Wall family in the sale of the newspaper.