Morris Communications Company, LLC is a privately held media company with diversified holdings that include newspaper and magazine publishing, outdoor advertising, radio broadcasting, book publishing and distribution and online services.
Morris Communications holdings include 12 daily newspapers, numerous nondaily and free community papers, 36 radio stations, book publishing and distribution houses, numerous magazines and specialized publications, visitor (travel and tourism) publications, including Where® Magazine, wheretraveler.com, Where Guestbooks and magazines, maps, Best Read Guides and two event marketing companies.
Morris Publishing Group was formed in 2001 and assumed the operations of the newspaper business segment of its parent company, Morris Communications Co. Morris Publishing Group publishes the company’s daily, nondaily and free community newspapers in the United States.
Morris Communications Co. officers include: William S. Morris III, chairman and CEO; William S. Morris IV, president; Derek May, executive vice president of newspapers; Craig S. Mitchell, senior vice president of finance, secretary and treasurer; Steve K. Stone, senior vice president and chief financial officer of newspapers and shared services.
In the United States, Morris Communications has interests and/or holdings in 29 states and the District of Columbia: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington state and Wisconsin.
Overseas, Morris Communications has holdings in London, England; Paris, France; Asia; and the Principality of Monaco. Morris also owns several visitor publications in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Important dates in Morris Communications history:
1785: The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle founded as weekly newspaper, Augusta Gazette, by Greenberg Hughes.
Nov. 24, 1890: Augusta Herald founded.
January 1929: W.S. Morris Jr. became bookkeeper at The Augusta Chronicle.
Oct. 12, 1931 : W.S. Morris Jr. became business manager of The Augusta Chronicle.
Jan. 30, 1932: W.S. Morris Jr. elected secretary and treasurer of Chronicle Publishing Co.
Dec. 6, 1932: W.S. Morris Jr. became general manager of The Augusta Chronicle.
January 1937: W.S. Morris Jr. elected president and treasurer of Chronicle Publishing Co.
June 29, 1937: W.S. Morris Jr. became publisher of The Augusta Chronicle.
May 28, 1945 : W.S. Morris Jr. and Auto Finance Co. of Charlotte, N.C., (headed by his friend Herman A. Moore) became co-owners of stock of The Augusta Chronicle (Moore was a vice president, but he left control to Morris.); Southeastern Newspapers Inc. established, succeeding Chronicle Publishing Co.; W.S. Morris Jr. continued as president.
Sept. 1, 1946: Mr. and Mrs. W.S. Morris Jr. announced subscribing to entire issue of 75,000 shares of Class B common stock of Chronicle.
Jan. 1, 1949: Some operations of The Augusta Chronicle moved into Herald Building (renamed News Building in 1955 after purchase) after partial merger with Augusta Herald (mechanical, circulation and business departments); Newspaper Printing Corp. was agent of partial merger.
May 12, 1955: Mr. and Mrs. W.S. Morris Jr. purchased afternoon Augusta Herald and its Herald Building (which they renamed News Building) on Broad Street (Southeastern Newspapers Inc. to operate as subsidiary of newly formed Augusta Newspapers Inc.); Mr. and Mrs. W.S. Morris Jr. also purchased all Chronicle stock owned by Auto Finance Co. of Charlotte (purchases were announced Feb. 18, takeover May 12).
March 21, 1956: Southeastern Newspapers Inc. purchased Radio Augusta Inc. (WRDW-Radio and WRDW-TV, Channel 12, CBS); sold stock to public.
Oct. 1, 1956: William S. Morris III joined company as assistant to president.
Jan. 2, 1957: W.S. Morris Jr. elected chairman of board and J.W. West president of Southeastern Newspapers Inc.
April 1, 1958: W.S. Morris Jr. again elected president of Southeastern Newspapers Inc. upon J.W. West’s resignation; continued for some time as chairman of board.
July 1958: William S. Morris III became a vice president of Southeastern Newspapers Inc.
Feb. 3, 1960: Agreement signed to sell WRDW-TV to The Friendly Group, Steubenville, Ohio (subject to FCC approval).
Feb. 27, 1960: Announced signing of agreement to sell WRDW-Radio to Roy V. Harris, George C. Nicholson and Eva Nicholson (subject to FCC approval).
July 13, 1960: Purchase of Savannah Morning News and Savannah Evening Press completed. (Sold more stock to public, then went private and called in all public stock and refinanced company. Southeastern had signed agreement on Feb. 3 to manage Savannah newspapers until purchase.)
Aug. 1, 1963: Southeastern Newspapers Corp. formed. Savannah Newspapers Inc., Savannah News-Press Inc. and Southeastern Newspapers Inc. all dissolved and incorporated under one company: Southeastern Newspapers Corp.
July 20, 1965: William S. Morris III of Augusta and Charles H. Morris of Savannah purchased the Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald(Banner-Herald Publishing Co. subsequently established to operate); both Morris brothers were vice presidents of Southeastern Newspapers Corp.
April 11, 1966: William S. Morris III elected president of Southeastern Newspapers Corp. and named publisher of The Augusta Chronicle and Augusta Herald. W.S. Morris Jr. elected chairman of the board; as such, acted as chief executive officer. (Unclear when he was not chairman; was in 1963.)
April 11, 1967: W.S. Morris Jr. died at age 64.
Dec. 23, 1967: Banner-Herald Publishing Co., wholly owned subsidiary of Southeastern Newspapers Corp., bought Athens Daily News.
1968: Compudat formed with the purchase of Southern Data Processing, Augusta.
Nov. 27, 1968: William S. Morris III announced at board meeting of Southeastern Newspapers Corp. that he would begin negotiations for purchase of Southeast Alaska Empire in Juneau.
March 14, 1969: Announcement of purchase agreement signing “this week” for Southeast Alaska Empire (later renamed Juneau Empire).
Nov. 4, 1970: Morris Communications Corp. established; William S. Morris III bought out family interests, reorganized into new corporation and became president of new corporation. (Southeastern Newspapers Corp. will be subsidiary of MCC).
Aug. 31, 1972: Purchased four Texas dailies: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Evening Journal, Amarillo Daily News and Amarillo Globe-Times.
1973: Hilton Head (S.C.) News (weekly) started.
March 8, 1979: Purchased Neighbor, free-distribution weekly (shopper) in Tampa.
March 9, 1979: Purchased Amarillo, Texas, division of Southwest Offset Inc., commercial printing operation (renamed Southwestern Publications).
Nov. 15, 1979: Purchased three nondaily newspapers in North Georgia: The Elberton Star, The Hartwell Sun (and commercial printing plant) and The News Leader in Royston.
April 17, 1981: Purchased Elbert Beacon, Elberton, Ga. (combined with The Elberton Star).
Aug. 27, 1981: Purchased old Haverty Furniture building adjacent to News Building on Broad Street.
Nov. 25, 1981: Announced purchase of Quarter Horse News, Fort Worth (published every other week).
Nov. 18, 1982: Definitive agreement signed to purchase Florida Publishing Co. (three dailies: The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, Jacksonville Journal and The St. Augustine (Fla.) Record ; and weekly Courier-Journal in Crescent City) from Seaboard Coast Line Railroad. Transaction closed Dec. 31, 1982; official date of ownership is Jan. 1, 1983.
January 1983: William S. Morris III elected chairman and CEO; Paul S. Simon elected president (had been with company since 1968).
May 15, 1984 : Neighbor in Tampa sold.
May 24, 1985: Signed agreement to purchase Naegele Outdoor Advertising Inc. (transaction closed July 1985).
June 6, 1985: Leased old Georgia Power building adjacent to old Haverty building on Broad Street.
July 1985: Construction began on new building for Juneau Empire (opened February 1987).
1986: Morris Publishing System, Augusta, formed.
February 1987: New building for Juneau Empire opened.
1987: Morris News Service, Atlanta, established.
Aug. 31, 1988: Evening Journal in Lubbock, Texas, ceased publication.
Oct. 10, 1988 : Purchased Consolidated Directories, Burlington, N.C. (publisher of independent telephone directories).
Oct. 28, 1988: Jacksonville (Fla.) Journal ceased publication.
January 1989: J. Tyler Morris named assistant to general manager of Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
Spring 1989: Athens Magazine, Athens, Ga., started.
Dec. 8, 1989: Purchased Gray’s Sporting Journal, Lyme, N.H. (Operation moved to Augusta.) J. Tyler Morris named general manager, in addition to other duties.
March 21, 1990: Announcement that MCC would sell some of 15 Naegele Outdoor Advertising operations.
Summer 1990: Morris Information Services, Augusta, established (voice information services).
Summer 1990: Savannah Magazine, Savannah, Ga., started; first issue July/August.
Nov. 8, 1990: Construction began on new building for Athens newspapers (opened Nov. 5, 1992).
Nov. 23, 1990: Announced signing of letter of intent to purchase Peninsula Clarion, daily in Kenai, Alaska (purchase completed Dec. 13, 1990).
Feb. 13, 1991: William S. Morris IV named general manager of The St. Augustine Record.
1991: Southwestern Publications closed.
1991: Several divisions of Nagele Outdoor Advertising were sold. These included: March: New Orleans; Columbus, Ga. May: Minneapolis-St. Paul; Youngstown, Ohio; Jacksonville, Fla.; Memphis, Tenn. July: Indianapolis and Evansville, Ind.; Des Moines, Iowa December: Louisville, Ky. Remaining operations renamed Fairway Outdoor Advertising. Those include: Palm Springs, Calif.; a portion of Minneapolis-St.Paul; GSA (Greenville and Spartanburg, S.C., and Asheville, N.C.); Triangle East (Raleigh, Durham and Wilmington, N.C.); and Triad (Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem, N.C.).
1992: : Consolidated Directories closed.
Aug. 2, 1992: : William S. Morris IV named publisher of Athens Daily News and Athens Banner-Herald.
Aug. 2, 1992: : J. Tyler Morris named publisher of The St. Augustine Record.
Aug. 9, 1992: : Announced formation of National Barrel Horse Association in Augusta. Co-founders include William S. Morris III, MCC chairman and CEO, and Paul S. Simon, MCC president.
Sept. 23, 1992: Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, opened.
Nov. 5, 1992: New building for Athens newspapers opened.
Dec. 30, 1992: Susie B. Morris named publisher of Quarter Horse News.
April 30, 1993: Augusta (Ga.) Herald ceased publication.
Oct. 7, 1993: Purchased old Georgia Federal building adjacent to News Building on Broad Street.
Dec. 21, 1993: Announced purchase of SPUR magazine, Middleburg, Va. (Operation moved to Augusta.)
Feb. 2, 1994: Announced purchase of Augusta magazine, Augusta, Ga.
Feb. 2, 1994: Announced sale of Courier-Journal in Crescent City, Fla.
April 14, 1994: J. Tyler Morris named director of magazines and specialized publications.
July 26, 1994: Entered into agreement to purchase Stauffer Communications Inc., Topeka, Kan. (completed 1995; see below).
Sept. 9, 1994: Announced sale of North Georgia nondailies (The Elberton Star, The Hartwell Sun [and printing plant] and The News Leader in Royston) to Southern Publishing Co., Atlanta.
June 14, 1995: Purchase of Stauffer Communications Inc. completed (included 20 dailies, 9 nondailies and shoppers, 3 magazines, 7 TV stations, 8 radio stations and networks, software company, computer retail store, insurance company, commercial and residential security alarm company).
June 19, 1995: Announced signing of letter of intent to purchase Alaska magazine, Anchorage (purchase completed Aug. 4).
Oct. 31, 1995: Announced purchase of Gray Publishing Inc., Soldotna, Alaska: Dispatch News, (free-distribution weekly later absorbed into Peninsula Clarion operation) and Sightseer magazine (ceased publication immediately).
November 1995: Agreed to sell network-affiliated TV stations/satellite TV stations owned by Stauffer to Benedek Broadcasting Corp. of Rockford, Ill. (subject to FCC approval — sale completed June 7, 1996).
Nov. 1, 1995: Sold Communications & Signaling Inc. (Stauffer alarm system).
Nov. 3, 1995: Announced purchase of The Alaska Journal of Commerce (Anchorage business weekly). (“The” later dropped from flag.)
May 1996: Barrel Horse News, Fort Worth, Texas, started (monthly specialized publication). Cowboy Publishing formed.
May 14, 1996: William S. Morris IV elected a vice president of MCC.
June 7, 1996: Announced completion of sale of Stauffer-owned TV stations and satellite stations.
July 1, 1996: Purchased Flashes Publishers Inc., Allegan, Mich. (included Flashes Shopping Guide [free community paper with 9 zoned editions]; West Michigan Senior Times [specialized publication]; Flashes Publishers [commercial printing plant]).
July 17, 1996: Purchased Broadcaster Press, Vermillion, S.D. (included Vermillion Plain Talk [weekly]; The Broadcaster and Missouri Valley Shopper [free community papers]; and Broadcaster Press [commercial printing plant]).
July 31, 1996: Sold Stauffer magazines (Grit, Capper’s and Best Recipes) and Capper’s Insurance Inc.
Aug. 13, 1996: William S. Morris III elected MCC president (still chairman and CEO) to succeed Paul S. Simon, who retired Aug. 19.
Oct. 31, 1996: Savannah (Ga.) Evening Press ceased publication.
Nov. 15, 1996: Purchased Alaskan Equipment Trader, Anchorage (specialized publication).
Nov. 20, 1996: Announced purchase of The Norfolk Area Shopper and Columbus Area Choice in Nebraska (free community papers).
Dec. 8, 1996: William S. Morris IV became president of MCC; William S. Morris III still chairman and CEO.
January 1997: Auburndale Weekly and Winter Haven Weekly in Florida were started (free community papers) … names changed February 1998: from “Weekly” to “Shopper.”
March 1, 1997: Announced purchase of The Bargain Hunter’s Shopper, Glenwood Springs, Colo. (free community paper) — renamed Bargain Hunter.
April 17, 1997: Announced purchase of The Globe Pequot Press, Old Saybrook, Conn. (book publisher and distributor).
May 22, 1997: Announced purchase of The Eagle Valley Enterprise (weekly) in Eagle, Colo.
May 31, 1997: Announced purchase of Trade & Transactions, York, Neb. (free community paper).
June 1997: J. Tyler Morris resigned as director of magazines and specialized publications but remained with the company as adviser and consultant, while engaging in corporate aviation.
Aug. 19, 1997: The ADvisor (free community paper) started in Albion, Neb.
Sept. 26, 1997: Agreement signed to purchase approximately 8 percent interest in Zip2 Corp., Mountain View, Calif., leading provider of online products to newspapers.
Oct. 7, 1997: Announced license agreement with Zip2 Corp. to provide Internet products to MCC newspapers.
Oct. 24, 1997: Announced purchase of Gateway Books, Oakland, Calif. (publisher of guides for seniors and retired travelers) — later absorbed into operation of The Globe Pequot Press.
Oct. 31, 1997: Announced purchase of Best Read Guides Franchise Corp. and online service (tourist magazines). Franchisees included 17 editions in 7 states: Best Read Guide/Orlando, Orlando, Fla.; Best Read Guide/Kentucky, Louisville; Best Read Guide/Cape Ann and Best Read Guide/North Shore, Danvers, Mass.; Best Read Guide/Martha’s Vineyard, Edgartown, Mass.; Best Read Guide/Cape Cod, Orleans, Mass.; Best Read Guide/Plymouth and Best Read Guide/SE Massachusetts, New Bedford, Mass. (both ceased publication in 1998); Best Read Guide/Branson, Branson, Mo.; Best Read Guide/Lakes Region, Best Read Guide/New Hampshire, Best Read Guide/Seacoast and Best Read Guide/White Mountains, Dover, N.H.; Best Read Guide/Newport and Best Read Guide/Seacoast (CT and RI), Newport, R.I.; Best Read Guide/Nashville, Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Best Read Guide/Smoky Mountains, Sevierville, Tenn.
Nov. 11, 1997: Announced purchase of The MILEPOST, Bellevue, Wash., and associated travel guides (Alaska Roadhouse Recipes, Alaska A to Z, The Milepost Souvenir Logbook, Northwest Mileposts and The Alaska Wilderness Guide) (operation later moved to Anchorage)
Nov. 11, 1997: Announced agreement to purchase 7 Palm Springs, Calif., radio stations, pending FCC approval: (KCLB-AM, KCLB-FM, KCMJ-AM, KCMJ-FM later changed to KKUU-FM, KPSL-AM changed to KNWZ-AM, KNWZ-AM changed to KXPS-AM and KSES-FM changed to KYOR-FM).
Nov. 12, 1997: Announced purchase of NationsBank building adjacent to old Georgia Power building on Broad Street.
Dec. 9, 1997: Announced signing letter of intent with SAXoTECH International, Aalborg, Denmark, to U.S. rights to distribute and use editorial production software. (Agreement terminated October 1998.)
Dec. 30, 1997: Hilton Head News absorbed into operation of Carolina Morning News edition of Savannah Morning News.
Dec. 31, 1997: Ceased affiliation with Kansas City Royals Radio Network.
1998: Best Read Guide/Plymouth and Best Read Guide/SE Massachusetts, franchisees in New Bedford, Mass., ceased publication.
Jan. 21, 1998: Announced plans to purchase The Columbia County News-Times (twice a week) and The Augusta Regional Business Journal, Martinez, Ga. (Deal finalized Jan. 27, 1998; Business journal discontinued immediately.)
Feb. 12, 1998: Purchased ICS Books Inc., Merrillville, Ind. (publisher of outdoor lifestyles and other books … absorbed into operation of The Globe Pequot Press).
March 1998: First issue of MCC-owned Best Read Guide/Savannah (Georgia) published .
March 1, 1998: Purchased Cadogan Guides, London, England (and created Morris Publications Ltd., United Kingdom subsidiary of MCC).
March 6, 1998: Announced purchase of The Valley Journal (weekly) in Carbondale, Colo. (“The” later dropped from flag.)
April 1998: First issue of MCC-owned Best Read Guide/Hilton Head (South Carolina) published.
April 1998: Purchased Metro Outdoor Advertising, Greenville, S.C. (absorbed into Fairway Outdoor Advertising’s GSA branch).
April 8, 1998: Announced purchase of The Citizen Telegram (weekly) in Rifle, Colo.
May 29, 1998: Purchased Snowmass Village Sun (weekly) in Snowmass Village, Colo.
June 1998: SPUR magazine ceased publication.
June 1998: First issues of MCC-owned Best Read Guide/First Coast, Jacksonville, Fla., and Best Read Guide/St. Augustine (Florida) published.
Summer 1998: Water’s Edge magazine, Jacksonville, Fla., started; first issue August/September.
July 1998: First issue of MCC-owned Best Read Guide/Daytona Beach (Florida) published.
July 1998: Purchased Desert Outdoor Advertising, Palm Springs, Calif. (absorbed into Fairway Outdoor Advertising’s Palm Springs branch).
July 29, 1998: Announced contract signing to purchase 13 radio stations from Seattle-based Pioneer Broadcasting Co., pending FCC approval. Seven Washington state stations: KXRO-AM and KDUX-FM, Aberdeen; KWIQ-AM and KWIQ-FM, Moses Lake; KVYF-FM, Wilson Creek; KKRT-AM and KKRV-FM, Wenatchee. Six Anchorage, Alaska, stations: KFQD-AM, KHAR-AM, KMXS-FM, KBRJ-FM, KEAG-FM, KWHL-FM.
Aug. 12, 1998: Announced purchase of two Miami-based direct marketing companies — Broadcast Direct Marketing and The Mailworks — dealing primarily with the broadcast industry. Will become direct marketing division of MCC: Morris Direct Marketing (satellite offices in Denver and San Diego) — later renamed SmarTTarget Marketing.
September 1998: Best Read Guide/Nashville (Tennessee), a franchisee, ceased publication. (Restarted by MCC; see April ’99.)
Sept. 20, 1998: Announcement that Susie B. Morris named vice president for Alaska newspapers (Juneau Empire and Peninsula Clarion in Kenai … also includes overseeing two Anchorage-based specialized publications: The Alaska Journal of Commerce and Alaskan Equipment Trader). (Became Susie Morris Baker Oct. 17, 1998, when she married Dr. Lee H. Baker)
October 1998: First issue of MCC-owned Best Read Guide/Charleston (South Carolina) published.
October 1998: Purchased AAA Outdoor Advertising, Burlington, N.C. (absorbed into Fairway Outdoor Advertising’s Triad branch).
Oct. 6, 1998: Announced purchase of Roaring Fork Sunday (weekly) in Basalt, Colo.
Oct. 9, 1998: Purchased London this Week (name later changed to Best Read Guide/London this Week…then Best Read Guide/London…10-02: The London Guide) and London in One, London, England (tourist publications).
Oct. 14, 1998: Purchased Best Read Guide/Orlando (Florida) … (had been a franchisee).
November 1998: Kalamazoo (Mich.) Express (weekly specialized publication) started by Flashes Publishers.
Dec. 31, 1998: Purchased Londinium, London, England (quarterly tourist publication).
1998: Best Read Guide/Cape Ann and Best Read Guide/North Shore, franchisees in Danvers, Mass., ceased publication.
January 1999: First issue of MCC-owned Best Read Guide/Vail/Beaver Creek, Glenwood Springs, Colo., published.
January 1999: First issue of MCC-owned Best Read Guide/Aspen/Snowmass Village, Glenwood Springs, Colo., published.
Jan. 14, 1999: Purchased four South Carolina publications: Jasper County Sun (weekly), Ridgeland; Hardeeville Times (weekly); The Jasper Shopper, Ridgeland; and Okatie Sun (specialized publication…in ’01 became shopper), Bluffton.
Feb. 5, 1999: Purchased four Minnesota publications: Lake Country Echo (weekly), Pequot Lakes; Pine River Journal (weekly); Echoland Shopper (free community paper, including its zoned Metro Edition), Pequot Lakes; and Piper Shopper (free community paper), Pine River.
Feb. 17, 1999: Announcement that Compaq Computer Corp. will purchase Zip2 Corp., including MCC’s ownership interest. (Deal closed April 5, 1999 … license agreement still in effect.)
March 9, 1999: Purchased Coastal Publishing of Savannah, Ga.: Coastal Senior and Coastal Antiques and Art (monthly specialized publications).
April 6, 1999: Announced that Best Read Guide/Nashville (Tennessee) will resume as MCC-owned publication. First issue will be July 1999.
June 1999: First issue of MCC-owned Best Read Guide/Traverse City, Allegan, Mich., published. (Two in Holland and St. Joseph started but ceased publication after short while … online-only editions, see September.)
July 1999: Launched Best Read Guide/Brainerd (Minnesota), Best Read Guide/Juneau (Alaska), Best Read Guide/St. Simons Island (Georgia) (renamed Best Read Guide/Brunswick/Golden Isles 3-00), online-only editions (MCC-owned).
July 15, 1999: Announced partnership (along with five other media companies) with AdOne, Internet classified advertising business and its comprehensive consumer Web site, classifiedWarehouse.com.
August 1999: Purchased The Horsetrader, Middlefield, Ohio, (mid-2000 moved to Chardon, Ohio) display and classified advertising publication serving amateur and professional horse people throughout the nation (specialized publication). (Purchase included some assets of defunct Team Penning USA, including teampenning.com) (Horsetrader office moved to Fort Worth, Sept. 2003.)
September 1999: Purchased Aspen Interactive Media, Aspen, Colo., best known for its aspen.com Web site.
September 1999: First issue of MCC-owned Best Read Guide/Petoskey/Charlevoix/Harbor Springs, Allegan, Mich., published. (Little Traverse market)
September 1999: Launched Best Read Guide/St. Joseph (Michigan) and Bead Guide/Holland (Michigan), online-only editions (MCC-owned).
September 1999: London in One tourist publication in London, England, ceased publication.
Sept. 8, 1999: Purchased Tip-Off Shopping Guide, Jonesville, Mich. (free community paper, weekly).
October 1999: First issue of MCC-owned Best Read Guide/Amarillo (Texas) published.
Oct. 7, 1999: The Computer Patch, Joplin, Mo., (retail store) closed.
November 1999: First issue of MCC-owned Best Read Guide/San Antonio (Texas) published.
November 1999: Start-up of Alaska Military Weekly, free nondaily newspaper distributed to military personnel throughout the state, with local, national and international military news.
December 1999: First issue of MCC-owned Best Read Guide/Clearwater/Tampa/St. Petersburg, Tampa, Fla., published.
Dec. 15, 1999: Announced start-up of three free community papers in Nebraska: Grand Island Triangle, Hastings Triangle and Kearney Triangle. (Publication start Dec. 12.)
January 2000: Lakeland (Fla.) Shopper started.
Jan. 7, 2000: Announced agreement to purchase KGHO-AM (later changed to KWOK-AM) and KGHO-FM (later changed to KXXK-FM) in Washington state, subject to FCC approval. (MCC assumed management of programming and sales operations Dec. 22, 1999, under local marketing agreement.) Added to Grays Harbor Radio Group, Aberdeen.
February 2000: MCC online services division, Augusta, name changed to Morris DigitalWorks.
February 2000: Purchased Senior Living, Oak Ridge, Tenn. (monthly specialized publication).
Feb. 5, 2000: Purchased Homer News (weekly) in Homer, Alaska.
March 2000: First issue of MCC-owned Best Read Guide/Augusta (Georgia) published (annual publication).
March 13, 2000: Purchased Equine Internet Consultants, Lombard, Ill. (Included domain names: Barrelhorses.com, Barrelhorsenews.com, Thebarrelhorsenews.com, Barrelhorsetrainers. com, Demoexchange.com, Eiconline.com, Ehorseads.com, HorseCity.com, Horsetheft.com, Horsetv.net, Polebending.com, Usedtack.com.) (Operation moved to Augusta.)
April 2000: Start-up of Tennessee Antiques, Oak Ridge, Tenn. (monthly specialized publication).
April 13, 2000: Purchased Riviera Radio in Principality of Monaco. Only full-time, English-language FM station covering French Riviera.
May 2000: Launched Best Read Guide/Fort Lauderdale and Best Read Guide/Miami, online only editions (MCC-owned).
June 2000: First issue of MCC-owned Best Read Guide/Anchorage (Alaska) published.
June 2000: Best Read Guide/Traverse City and Best Read Guide/Petoskey/Charlevoix/Harbor City (Michigan) cease publication.
June 2000: Launched Best Read Guide/Florida Keys and Best Read Guide/Hannibal (Missouri), online-only editions (MCC-owned).
June 19, 2000: Purchased Destination Alaska, port guide for passengers of cruise ships docking in Seattle, Wash.; Seward, Alaska; and Vancouver, British Columbia.
July 29, 2000: Groundbreaking held for new building for The St. Augustine (Fla.) Record.
Aug. 1, 2000: Start-up of Crete (Neb.) Triangle (free community paper).
Aug. 22, 2000: Announced purchase of Alaska Star (weekly) in Eagle River.
Aug. 24, 2000: Announced that The Globe Pequot Press, MCC’s book publishing and distribution division, had entered agreement with Landmark Communications Corp. to acquire all assets of Falcon Publishing Co., Helena, Mont. (primarily known for FalconGuides, Chockstone rock climbing guides and Insiders’ Guides).
August 2000: J. Tyler Morris, in his role as adviser and consultant to the company, named vice president for the Cowboy Publishing Group.
Aug. 26, 2000: Start-up of Saturday Saver, free community paper in Manhattan, Kan.
Sept. 18, 2000: Announced strategic business alliance with Nescrow Technologies Inc., company that provides exclusive, electronically integrated purchasing and fulfillment process for buyers and sellers of merchandise online (product is Net Transaction Protocol−NTP).
November 2000: Best Read Guide/Nashville ceased publication; will continue as online-only edition.
Nov. 17, 2000: Sold seven Western Slope (Colorado) publications to Swift Newspapers Inc., Reno, Nev. The seven are: The Glenwood Post in Glenwood Springs (daily); The Citizen Telegram in Rifle, Eagle Valley Enterprise in Eagle, Roaring Fork Sunday in Basalt, Valley Journal in Carbondale, Snowmass Village Sun (nondailies); and Bargain Hunter in Glenwood Springs (free community paper). Best Read Guide/Vail/Beaver Creek, Best Read Guide/Aspen/Snowmass Village and aspen.com not included in sale. (Print editions of the two Best Read Guides ceased publication and will continue as online-only editions.)
Nov. 30, 2000: Announced closing of three Nebraska free community papers: Crete Triangle, Hastings Triangle and Kearney Triangle.
2001: Desert Radio Group became Morris Desert Media Radio Group (KCLB-AM became KNWQ-AM).
2001: Columbia River Media Group’s KVYF-FM became KKXA-FM.
2001: Best Read Guide/Anchorage and Best Read Guide/Augusta ceased publication.
2001: Okatie Sun, Bluffton, S.C., switched from specialized publication to free community paper.
January 2001: Excursia.com, innovative travel site, launched by Morris DigitalWorks. The site, which provides great interactivity with user, draws on affiliations with other Morris entities for its comprehensive content. (Officially announced mid-February). (Ceased 3-01.)
January 2001: The 12 previous Best Read Guide online-only editions (Juneau, Alaska; Aspen/Snowmass Village and Vail/Beaver Creek, Colo.; Florida Keys, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Fla.; Brunswick/Golden Isles, Ga.; Holland and St. Joseph, Mich.; Brainerd, Minn.; Hannibal, Mo.; and Nashville, Tenn., incorporated into the new Excursia.com.
January 2001: Tennessee Antiques in Oak Ridge ceased publication.
Feb. 6, 2001: Announced purchase by Fairway Outdoor Advertising of 287 advertising displays from Unistar Outdoor Advertising, Elizabethtown, N.C.
Feb. 28, 2001: Purchased Horsemen’s Yankee Pedlar in North Oxford, Mass. (specialized publication).
April 30, 2001: The morning Amarillo Daily News and afternoon Amarillo Globe-Times combined. New name of a.m. newspaper: Amarillo Globe-News.
April 30, 2001: The morning Athens Daily News and afternoon Athens Banner-Herald combined. New name of a.m. newspaper: Athens Banner-Herald (because of historical significance).
May 7, 2001: Announced sale of residential dial-up portion of Internet access business, Networks, in three markets: Augusta, Ga; Topeka, Kan.; and Grand Island, Neb.
June 2001: Kalamazoo Express in Allegan, Mich., ceased publication.
June 13, 2001: Announced sale of three Nebraska free community papers (shoppers): The Norfolk Area Shopper, The ADvisor in Albion and the Columbus Area Choice. Effective date: July 1.
June 25, 2001: Announced four daily newspapers for sale: The Examiner in Blue Springs, Mo.; The Examiner in Independence, Mo.; The Oak Ridger in Oak Ridge, Tenn.; and The Newton (Kan.) Kansan.
July 2001: Bartow (Fla.) Shopper became separate publication (had been edition of another).
July 1, 2001: SmarTTargeT Marketing, MCC’s direct marketing division, moved headquarters to Augusta from Miami. Satellite operations now in Cape Cod, Mass.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Miami.
July 2, 2001: Announced signing of letter of intent to sell The Arkansas City (Kan.) Traveler (daily newspaper). (Deal closed Aug. 28, 2001.)
July 28, 2001: Saturday Saver in Manhattan, Kan., ceased publication.
August 2001: Alaska Oil & Gas Reporter, specialized publication, started in Anchorage as separate publication. (Had been section of Alaska Journal of Commerce).
Aug. 21, 2001: Announced agreement to purchase Western Horseman in Colorado Springs, Colo., nation’s premier equine magazine. (Deal closed Aug. 31, 2001.) Purchase included separate magazine, Equestrian Retailer – now operates out of North Oxford, Mass.
Sept. 5, 2001: Announced agreement with Convera, leading provider of digital content management technologies, for installation and application of Convera’s software solutions for text management; to be used for extensive electronic archiving of newspaper and other print content.
Sept. 5, 2001: MCC Newspapers LLC formed.
Oct. 31, 2001: Legal name of company changed to Morris Communications Company, LLC.
Nov. 7, 2001: Columbia River Media Group announced major change in format: KKXA-FM to become KWLN-FM, first Spanish-language station in Wenatchee/Wilson Creek, Wash., area.
Nov. 2/3, 2001: Grand opening held for new building of The St. Augustine (Fla.) Record.
December 2001: Best Read Guide/First Coast (Jacksonville, Fla.) ceased publication.
January 2002: La Estrella, Spanish-language weekly published in Dodge City, Kan., greatly expanded in content and coverage, now up to 20 pages. (Began publication in 1991.)
Jan. 1, 2002: Grand Island (Neb.) Triangle, free community newspaper, name changed to Mid Nebraska Connections.
Feb. 2, 2002: Became first American news organization to join Infa, world’s leading association for media publishing, to develop prototype multiple-media, micro-newsroom, “Newsplex.” To be built on campus of University of South Carolina in Columbia.
May 1, 2002: Announced purchase of NBC (Nippon/Navigator Book Co.) Ltd., London. Includes eight tourist publications — six “be IN” series (originally referred to in negotiations as “Best of” series but name changed 1-02): be IN Germany, be IN Italy, be IN London, be IN New York, be IN Paris, be IN Spain; and two others: BEST of BRITAIN by BritRail and BEST of British Excellence. They, along with existing Morris publications Best Read Guide LONDON (style change on title) and Londinium, make up Morris UK Ltd., newly formed company.
March 1, 2002: Announced newspaper division would divide 31 properties in community newspaper division into Eastern Group (9 dailies, 3 free community papers, 2 specialized publications) and Western Group (7 dailies, 3 nondailies, 7 free community papers).
June 12, 2002: Announced four dailies (The Newton [Kan.] Kansan, The Examiner in Blue Springs, Mo., The Examiner in Independence, Mo., The Oak Ridger in Oak Ridge, Tenn.) no longer for sale. (Were put on market in June 2001.)
July 15, 2002: The Examiner in Blue Springs, Mo., and The Examiner in Independence combined into one daily: The Examiner in Independence.
July 24, 2002: Announced signing of letter of intent to purchase The News and Farmer and Wadley Herald/The Jefferson Reporter, a weekly newspaper in Louisville, Ga. (tri-name flag is CQ and it’s one publication)…(Deal closed Sept. 19, 2002.)
Aug. 8, 2002: Announced agreement to publish Eco Latino, monthly Spanish-English magazine, jointly with Eco Productions Inc., St. Augustine, Fla. (First issue of bilingual magazine to be co-owned by MCC and Eco will be October 2002.)
October 2002: Alaska Military Weekly no longer separate publication; became section of the weekly Alaska Star.
October 2002: Alaska Oil & Gas Reporter no longer separate publication; returned to its roots as part of the Alaska Journal of Commerce.
October 2002: Best Read Guide LONDON renamed The London Guide. MCC also renamed its tourist publications division the Visitor Publications Division. (Style change on flag 03: the LONDON GUIDE.)
Oct. 24, 2002: Announced purchase of majority interest in New York City visitors’ magazine IN New York. Free monthly will maintain limited relationship with former majority stockholder Primedia Inc.
October 2002: IN New York, London, England, visitor publication, ceased publication.
Nov. 12, 2002: Longtime shared-frequency agreement between WIBW-AM in Topeka, Kan., and Kansas State University (Wildcat Sports Network) dissolved. Dissolution also gave WIBW-AM 24-hour broadcast rights, beginning Dec. 2.
February 2003: Town & Country News, free community paper in Oak Grove, Mo., no longer separate publication; became zoned edition of The Examiner in Independence, Mo.
Feb. 19, 2003: Announced purchase of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina assets of Williamson Outdoor Advertising, Athens, Ga. Becomes Georgia/Alabama (GAL) branch in Athens of Fairway Outdoor Advertising.
Feb. 28, 2003: Purchased Visual Outdoor in Wilmington, N.C. (absorbed into Fairway Outdoor’s Triangle East and Triad branches).
March 2003: Best Read Guide/Hilton Head ceased publication (last issue).
March 3, 2003: Announced contract signing for purchase of six Kansas radio stations, pending FCC approval: KSAL-AM, KYEZ-FMand KZBZ-FM in Salina; KABI-AM and KSAJ-FM in Abilene; and KBLS-FM in North Fort Riley. (Announced Jan. 30, 2004; purchase finalized.)
March 31, 2003: Direct marketing division (SmarTTargeT Marketing) closed.
April 2003: Athens Eco Latino, monthly magazine, started in Athens, Ga. (Dropped “Athens” as of April 2004)
May 2003: Savannah Coastal Parent, bimonthly specialized publication, started in Savannah, Ga.
May 15, 2003: Announced purchase of Hospitality Industry Association, visitor service organization, St. Petersburg, Fla.
June 7, 2003: Announced start-up (first issue July 3) of The McDuffie Mirror, weekly newspaper in Thomson, Ga. (in racks and sold by subscription from beginning, plus being inserted in The Augusta Chronicle for McDuffie subscribers.)
June 12, 2003: Grand opening of Morris Alaska building (totally renovated after purchase in December 2001), housing Morris’ Anchorage publications and radio stations under one roof.
June 16, 2003: Announced merger of operations of The Holland (Mich.) Sentinel and Flashes Publishers, Allegan, Mich. Company will publish existing Sentinel, Flashes Shopping Guide and niche and online projects.
July 7, 2003: MCC Newspapers LLC changes name to Morris Publishing Group, LLC.
Aug. 25, 2003: be IN publications and BEST of British Excellence in London ceased publication. Londinium changed name to IN London.
Aug. 7, 2003: Morris Publishing Group, LLC issues $250 million aggregate principal amount of 7% senior subordinated notes due 2013.
Sept. 3, 2003: Announced purchase of Guest Informant, California–based publisher of visitor guides for major metropolitan areas.
Sept. 24, 2003: Morris Publishing Group, LLC issues an additional $50 million aggregate principal amount of 7% senior subordinated notes due in 2013. Collectively, these notes (with those issued Aug. 7) constitute a single series of Series A notes in an aggregate principal amount of $300 million.
September 2003: Best Read Guide/Palm Springs ceased publication.
Nov. 20, 2003: Announced purchase of The Girard (Kan.) Press, a nondaily newspaper serving Crawford County.
Dec. 11, 2003: Announced purchase of skirt! Magazine, Charleston, S.C. women’s magazine. (closing date Nov. 24, 2003) Added Augusta edition (March 2004), Savannah (April ’04), Charlotte, N.C. (June ’04) and Jacksonville (July 04).
January 2004: Announced visitor publications division has been awarded exclusive rights to publish Monorail Magazine for the Las Vegas Monorail Company. (Magazine came out 7/14/04, day before monorail opened to public.)
Feb. 27, 2004: Fairway Outdoor Advertising announced acquisition of the assets of Eagle Outdoor Advertising of Carrollton, Ga. 127 advertising displays in Carrollton and Clayton, Ga. The assets will become part of Fairway’s Georgia/Alabama market.
March 2004: Athens Banner-Herald launches Gainesville Life, planned for three times a year to serve the area near Lake Lanier and Atlanta. (Ceased publication fall 2005.)
March 5, 2004: Augusta Lounge launched. Monthly magazine aimed at Augusta professionals in their 20s and 30s. (Ceased publication fall 2005.)
March 24, 2004: Morris Publishing Group, LLC announced purchase of Capital City Weekly, a Juneau-based free newspaper, and Boat Broker, a monthly magazine companion publication.
May 2004: She’s OK! launched in Shawnee, Okla. (Ceased publication fall 2005.)
August 2004: Morris Equine Group announces Equine Practice Management magazine targeted to veterinarians. First issue due December 2004. (NOTE: Morris Equine Group is NOT an LLC as of August 2004.)
Aug. 20, 2004: Morris Visitor Publications announces purchase of three magazines and franchise rights to publish Where® visitor guides in 10 markets from ABARTA Media Group, Miami, Fla. In a separate transaction, Morris also acquires three North Carolina Guest Guide publications from Lone Wolf Publishing Inc.
Sept. 20, 2004: Acquisition of media services assets of The Cobalt Group, automotive retail software provider, announced.
Sept. 28, 2004: Acquisition of BluMunKee Software announced.
Oct. 25 2004: Announces acquisition of rights to publish Where® magazine in certain markets in the United States and Europe from WHERE International, Los Angeles, Calif. MCC now owns the brand.
December 2004: Morris Equine Group launches Equine Veterinary Management, quarterly trade magazine.
Jan. 6, 2005: Savannah Morning News building dedicated.
January 2005: Morris Equine Group launches Western Lifestyle Retailer, semiannual magazine for retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers of products related to western lifestyle.
January 2005: Announces that Fairway Outdoor Advertising and the outdoor division of Lamar Advertising Company have completed an exchange of assets in certain markets.
January 2005: Acquired KNWH-AM in Palm Springs, Calif.
March 3, 2005: Announces acquisition of rights to publish Where® magazine and other publications in the Atlanta market from Atlanta Metropolitan Publishing Inc.
April 2, 2005: Bluffton Today begins publication.
April 5, 2005: Announces acquisition of rights to publish Where® magazine and other publications in the Phoenix market from Southwest Visitors Publications, LLC, a division of Atlanta Metropolitan Publishing Inc.
April 12, 2005: Announces acquisition of Performance Horse magazine from Horsepower Media, LLC.
April 2006: Morris Publishing Group announces licensing of skirt! magazine to Cox Enterprises (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) to publish an Atlanta magazine.
April 2006: Morris Visitor Publications acquires Where® Boston magazine and map.
July 18, 2006: Morris Publishing Group announces agreement to purchase The (Barnwell, S.C.) People-Sentinel, The Hampton County (S.C.) Guardian, The (Edgefield, S.C.) Citizen News and the Sylvania (Ga.) Telephone from Community Newspapers, Inc.
July 21, 2006: Morris Publishing Group enters into licensing agreement with NetLook Inc., for Car Paper and Career Paper that allows The Florida Times-Union to publish the two free-distribution papers and include content on the newspaper Web site.