Paxton Media Group, owner of The Paducah Sun, announced Wednesday the purchase of Landmark Community Newspapers LLC, a chain of daily and weekly newspapers based in Shelbyville, Kentucky.

The deal, which was finalized this week, includes the purchase of all 47 newspapers in the Landmark chain.

“We are very excited to add these newspapers into the PMG portfolio," said Jamie Paxton, PMG president and CEO. "PMG believes strongly in the value of local newspapers and the vital role they play in the communities that they serve. We appreciate Landmark choosing us to be the new stewards of these important community assets.”

The Landmark purchase includes 20 Kentucky publications, including papers in Elizabethtown, Shelbyville, Shepherdsville, Lebanon and Bardstown, among others. PMG, which is headquartered in Paducah, will now own 37 newspapers throughout Kentucky and a total of 120 publications across 14 states.

It continues an ongoing effort at PMG to acquire community newspapers in the company's existing geographic footprint, said Mike Weafer, publisher of the Messenger-Inquirer and group publisher for the Kentucky-Indiana region.

“Paxton has been interested in acquiring newspapers as part of our strategy given the conditions and the nature of the newspaper industry,” Weafer said. “Acquisitions strengthen us and help us to persevere, so it is part of an overall strategy to continue to acquire newspapers.

“Landmark has a clustering of newspapers that are very geographically connected to Paxton papers,” he said. “So there is a lot of synergy that can be had with that.”

Landmark Community Newspapers traces its roots to 1966 when a group of eight local newspaper publishers decided to pool their resources and purchase a printing plant. The company was incorporated as Newspapers Inc. two years later. Newspapers Inc. was then purchased by Landmark Communications Inc. in 1973.

In addition to its Kentucky newspapers, the purchase includes Landmark's publications in Florida, Indiana, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

PMG will officially take over operations in early June, but there will be a transition period to PMG regarding systems and procedures, Paxton said.