Review-Journal's parent company buys eight Iowa publications

The Review-Journal's parent company announced Monday that a subsidiary has acquired eight publications in Iowa.

Stephens Media Iowa, whose parent company is Review-Journal publisher Stephens Media, has bought the Ames Tribune, the Boone News-Republican, the Dallas County News, the Nevada Journal, the Ames Advertiser, Ames About People & Advertiser, the Tri-County Times and the Algona Upper Des Moines. Stephens purchased the papers from Midlands Newspapers, a division of the Omaha World-Herald Co., for an undisclosed price.

Stephens Media Chief Executive Officer Michael Ferguson told the papers' employees that he's pleased to bring the publications into the corporate family. He also noted that the move marks a return to the Iowa newspaper community for Stephens, which used to own the Oskaloosa Herald and the Clinton Herald.

"We are newspaper people first and foremost. These are high-quality newspapers in dynamic markets," Ferguson said Monday in Ames.

Stephens Media owns more than 50 other publications in nine states ranging from North Carolina to Hawaii.

Tom Stallbaumer, publisher of the Morning News in Springdale, Ark., will serve as publisher of the newly acquired papers. Former publisher John Goossen resigned to pursue other interests. Stephens said it will retain all other employees of the newspapers, and the company plans no changes in publication frequency or distribution.

Executives with the Omaha World-Herald Co. said the sale fit their coverage strategies.

"We were fortunate to have found such a quality newspaper company to be the stewards of the Ames Tribune and Iowa Community Publications into the future," Omaha World-Herald Co. Chief Executive Officer Terry Kroeger said. "The Ames market is outside of our primary market area of Nebraska and western Iowa, so it makes sense to generate cash from our investment in the Tribune. We are grateful to John Goossen and his team for the good work that has been done in Ames under our ownership."