Alabama publisher buys three newspapers from Texas-based media company

Patrick Graham purchased three Alabama newspapers from Houston-based Southern Newspapers Inc. on May 1.

By Valerie Wells, Associate Editor,

The newspapers are The Sand Mountain Reporter in Albertville, Alabama; the Jackson County Sentinel in Scottsboro, Alabama; and The Times-Journal in Fort Payne, Alabama.

Graham, who previously was the associate publisher of The Reporter from 2000 to 2003, purchased the newspaper from the Walls family and Southern Newspapers Inc. of Houston, Texas. Southern, which continues to own and operate 12 newspapers in Texas and Oklahoma, had owned The Reporter since 1999. Photo right: Patrick Graham

In addition, Graham acquired The Jackson County Sentinel and The Times-Journal, sister papers to The Reporter, from Southern as part of the same purchase agreement.

Sale of the newspapers was facilitated with help from the firm of Cribb, Greene & Cope under the direction of John Cribb and Jeff Potts of that firm.

Graham also owns The Walton Tribune in Monroe, Georgia, and The Covington News in Covington, Georgia.

Graham said community newspapers like The Reporter are succeeding while others in the industry are struggling because community newspapers continue to focus on local coverage, and he plans to increase that local emphasis even more moving forward.

“Community newspapers have been able to stay relevant in the lives of readers by providing information about the community that readers can’t get anywhere else,” Graham said.

“That is why the platform readers are consuming the information in — whether it is print, online or mobile — isn’t as important as the type of information they are consuming, and time and again readers are telling us they want local, local, local.”

Patrick Graham, publisher of three new Alabama newspapers

Graham is a 28-year veteran of the newspaper industry. He spent 17 of those years with Southern, the last 11 operating newspapers of various sizes as publisher. He purchased his first newspaper, The Walton Tribune, in 2014, and his second, The Covington News, in 2017. He had previously spent six years (2003-2009) as the publisher at The Tribune.

Valerie Wells, a journalist for 30 years, is associate editor of Wells has worked at several newspapers and magazines in the Northwest and in the South. To contact Wells, email her at

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