Q&A with one of Salisbury Post’s new owners

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Todd H. Carpenter, one of the new owners of the Salisbury Post, answered questions from a Post reporter about the purchase of the newspaper, which was completed Tuesday. 
Carpenter, who lives in Natchez, Miss., is president and chief operating officer of Boone Newspapers Inc., or BNI, which is based in Natchez and Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Salisbury Newsmedia LLC, a newly formed North Carolina affiliate of Boone Newspapers, now owns the Post.

Q: Generally, what can readers and the community expect once the sale is complete? Will they see any changes?

A: We first seek to build on good foundations put down by the staff at the Post and our predecessors. Emphasis as we go forward will be on providing readers an informative, entertaining and thorough local news report in a package that delivers excellent results for our advertisers at a good value. 

Q: Can you talk about what role if any BNI will have in the operation of the Post? Will the company make any personnel decisions, set the publishing schedule, etc., or will those decisions occur locally? 

A: Boone Newspapers’ management works in a coaching and support role for the Post’s publisher and staff to enable them to produce a quality product for our customers along with a quality profit for the company. Both are vital to the Post’s ability to meet its obligations to the community, our staff and the future of all of us. 

Q: Will the Post remain in the current building and continue to operate the press?

A: Yes. 

Q: Other than the Post building and Holmes Place, does the sale include any other real estate in Salisbury?

A: No real estate other than that occupied by the Post building, parking lot, newsprint warehouse and Holmes Place. 

Q: How much did BNI pay? Can you talk about the value of the Post, not only in financial terms but also in a broader context?

A: Financial details of the sale will not be disclosed. But the Post serves an excellent market, has a good record of meeting its obligations to its community. We were one of several excellent media companies interested in its potential when it was offered for sale and we appreciate having been chosen.

Q: What sparked BNI’s interest in the Post, and why did the company want to invest in the paper? Does the company expect growth in Salisbury/Rowan County? 

A: We are publishers, as opposed to financial investors. We have strong beliefs about the importance of a newspaper to its community, the responsibility one assumes in ownership of a newspaper. So our motivation begins with opportunity to work with an excellent staff, in an outstanding community, to assume responsibility for a newspaper with an excellent heritage and be a part of guiding the Post in its role to serve the community in the future. Such opportunities are not common. We are pleased this one was offered us and we are able to work with the Post, its people and its community. 

Q: In light of BNI’s recent acquisitions, can you talk about what makes the company bullish on the newspaper industry? 

A: Local news and information will always be a vital part of community discourse and the process of daily production of true community journalism is core to that exchange. From serving that need comes a firm base from which to do business, to build a loyal audience, through print, online and mobile, that, in turn, passes the value test for advertising customers.  
We know from experience that advertising in community newspaper-based media causes the cash register, telephone and the bell on the front door to ring for advertisers. Based on third-party research, 78 percent of Rowan County adults read the Post or one of its products at least once per week.  No other media has an audience nearly that dense.  
So it is easy to be confident about good publishing companies in our industry, both in how they serve customers and in assuming ownership of one of its important institutions like the Post.  We have a demonstrated ability to succeed and thrive in today’s media. With the help of the excellent staff at The Post, we know we will be successful here as well.

Q: What value does the company see in this market?

A: Salisbury and the region have a strong workforce, a growing population and growing economy. It is an excellent place to be in our business. Coupled with our own hard work, there is much opportunity for those who depend on the Post for news, reasoned opinion on local issues, advertising and employment. 

Q: Anything else you would like to add? 

A: We are pleased and honored to be chosen to succeed Evening Post Inc. in ownership of the newspapers. We take our role and responsibility seriously and will work hard to meet our every obligation to the community, staff and all who have a stake in the future of the Post.