Paxton Media Group is acquiring the award-winning Jasper (Ind.) Herald from the Rumbach family. The Herald traces its roots to 1895.
Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented the Rumbach family in the transaction. Terms of the transaction, scheduled to close on Aug. 1, were not disclosed.
The Herald, which has combined print and digital circulation of 7,600 Monday through Saturday, is the most widely read daily newspaper in Indiana’s Dubois County and is regularly recognized by both national and state press associations. In 2019 alone, the Herald took home more than 20 awards at the annual Hoosier State Press Association news and advertising conference. It has also won numerous national awards for its photojournalism and photo editing during the past 30 years, placing among winners like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. The newspaper is complemented by a strong website and a full suite of niche products.
A member of the Rumbach family has managed The Herald since 1919, when A.T. Rumbach came to the weekly Jasper Herald as its editor and manager. His sons, John T. “Jack” Rumbach and Edwin J. Rumbach followed him, who were then followed by their sons, Dan Rumbach and John Rumbach. John’s son, Justin Rumbach, was The Herald’s most recent publisher.
Paxton Media Group, a family-owned media company headquartered in Paducah, Kentucky, is managed by fourth- and fifth-generation Paxton family members. The company owns 70-plus newspapers across the Midwest and Southeast, including 12 other dailies in Indiana.
“We are excited to add the Jasper Herald to our portfolio of properties in Southern Indiana which include the Vincennes Sun Commercial and the Princeton Daily Clarion,” said Jamie Paxton, Paxton Media Group's president and CEO. “This business combination will allow us to share resources and provide the financial security needed to assure The Herald will continue to serve its community long into the future. We appreciate the Rumbach family choosing Paxton Media Group to be stewards of this vital community asset.”
“It’s no secret that the newspaper industry has experienced major disruptions over the last couple of decades,” said Justin, Dan and John Rumbach in a statement announcing the sale. “More than 2,000 newspapers, large and small, but especially family-owned, community newspapers, have closed or been sold. We were fortunate that the disruptions took as long as they did to reach us.
"Ultimately, The Herald no longer had enough subscribers or local advertising revenue to support the quality community newspaper and website that our readers were accustomed to — and producing a quality newspaper has always been our priority.
"Paxton Media Group has the ability to share resources among its publications, thereby reducing costs — something our family, owner of one newspaper, couldn’t do.”