The Santa Rosa Press Gazette in Milton and the Crestview News Bulletin in Crestview are under new local ownership.
Through a partnership between Todd Neves of Neves Media and Sandi Kemp, of Navarre Press, the two papers will be two separate companies operated effectively immediately as a weekly print edition and a daily online website. Kemp, who founded Navarre Press more than 20 years ago, said the newspapers will focus on sharing local news, sports and feature coverage news important to each community.
Navarre Press has been chosen as the best weekly newspaper in Florida seven times by the Florida Press Association. “We believe that community newspapers fill an important role and that Milton and Crestview deserve publications that reflect the unique values, spirit and news of their communities,” Kemp said. “We look forward to getting to know our readers and meeting their needs.”
Todd Neves, who owns and publishes four papers across the Florida Panhandle, said it was an easy decision to become involved in the purchase of the two newspapers.
“Both have deep roots in their communities, and I believe it’s important to maintain and build that connection,” he said.
The acquisition, which was in the planning stages for months, took effect over a short period of time. As a result, readers will notice the changing look and editorial direction developing over the coming weeks and months. The papers, which have been published twice a week under their previous ownership, will publish once a week, on Thursdays. Subscribers will receive their papers in the mail and can also purchase the papers in local stores and convenience stores.
Newsroom staff members have had experience covering both of the new territories and look forward to delving into local government and community news, Kemp said.
“We have high expectations for both Crestview and Milton and a strong commitment to excellence,” she said.
This is the first partnership between Neves and Kemp, but they look forward to growing the newspapers and the markets – both print and online – together.
“Local journalism is very much alive in Northwest Florida,” said Neves, who also produces the Washington County News, Holmes County Times-Advertiser, Port St. Joe Star and Apalachicola Times. “Strengthening community journalism in Crestview and Milton will be an exciting challenge.”
“We are excited that these newspapers have found a great home and thank the employees for all they have contributed to the papers and communities,” added Jay Fogarty, Gannett’s SVP of Corporate Development
Neves, a Bay County native, is recognized as an innovator in multi-media and technology solutions for both business and home. He operates several other firms in the southeast through Neves Media Solutions Group, including: an advertising and marketing agency, an information technology firm, an audio/video contracting company and a fire and burglar alarm system company.