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The Wake Weekly newspaper group — The Wake Forest Weekly and its zoned editions in Rolesville and Franklin County along with the Butner-Creedmoor News — are operating under new ownership this week.
Publisher and Executive Editor Todd Allen has sold the newspapers, along with marketing agency Kingsdale Media, to The Wilson Times Co., a growing print and digital media company with a daily paper and two other weeklies in its publishing portfolio. The sale closed on Friday.
“My family has been proud to serve the Wake Forest, Rolesville, Youngsville, Franklinton, Butner and Creedmoor communities by providing reliable local news coverage, and I’m confident that tradition will continue under the papers’ new owners,” said Allen. “Our valued subscribers and advertisers will still have a family-owned newspaper that cares about getting the facts right.
“It has been an honor to be a part of a great community of wonderful people, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to serve you.”
Todd Allen is the son of Robert W. “Bob” and Margaret G. “Peggy” Allen. Bob Allen acquired The Wake Weekly in 1952 from his brother and owned and published the paper with his wife, Peggy, for nearly 50 years.
Peggy Allen was a winner of the National Newspaper Association’s prestigious Emma C. McKinney Award, a distinction she shares with Wilson Times matriarch Elizabeth Gold Swindell. The Allens were the first couple to be jointly named to the North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame in 2006, a posthumous honor for Peggy Allen, who died in November 2005.
Morgan Dickerman, the fifth-generation family owner of The Wilson Times, serves as the company’s chairman and CEO. Times President and Publisher Keven Zepezauer assumes the role of publisher for the Wake Weekly group and will oversee the publications along with Kingsdale Media. Tracy McLamb, general manager of The Daily Record in Dunn, will also serve as the general manager for the Wake Forest and Butner-Creedmoor papers.
“We’re excited to grow our family of community newspapers, and we’re committed to maintaining the Wake Weekly and Butner-Creedmoor News’ status as the leading sources of news and information in their regions,” Zepezauer said. “Joining forces with The Wilson Times will add resources and help these papers grow their presence online and on social media so we can update our readers with developing news around the clock.”
The Wake Forest Weekly’s editions for Rolesville and Franklin County were previously published under the Rolesville Weekly and Franklin Weekly nameplates, though the publications included mostly identical content. The three editions will be combined into a single publication that will carry coverage from all three regions.
The Wake Forest Weekly will continue to be based at 229 E. Owen Ave. in Wake Forest, which is also the home of Kingsdale Media. The Butner-Creedmoor News maintains an office at 418 N. Main St. in Creedmoor.
“Readers may not see many changes immediately, but some exciting things are in store for the Wake Weekly and Butner-Creedmoor papers,” Zepezauer said. “Over time, there will be some opportunities for synergy between our properties, but we believe in maintaining a strong presence in the communities we cover. We’ll continue to have local reporting and sales staffs based in Wake Forest and Creedmoor.”
The Wilson Times traces its roots to Zion’s Landmark, a Primitive Baptist publication established by Elder P.D. Gold in 1867. His son, John D. Gold, founded the Times in 1896. In its 123-year history, the Times has been honored with hundreds of journalism awards from state and national newspaper trade groups.
The company publishes the weekly Johnstonian News in Kenly and The Enterprise of Spring Hope in addition to its flagship daily newspaper and related magazines. Its digital brands include event ticketing website WAWTix.com and car-shopping website NCWheels.com.