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This week’s edition of The Enterprise is the first to feature content from the Southern Nash News, which published its final print edition last Thursday.
The Zebulon Times and the Southern Nash News print edition are merging with Wilson Times Co. publications, announced Mark Cone, the founder of both titles and president of Cone Publications.
The Times Co. will consolidate the newspapers with its existing papers in both markets, with Zebulon Times subscribers receiving The Wake Weekly and Southern Nash News subscribers receiving The Enterprise. All current subscriptions will be honored for their full duration.
“We admire what Mark’s done to bring community news to residents of eastern Wake and southern Nash counties,” said Keven Zepezauer, The Wilson Times Co.’s president and publisher. “We put our heads together and saw an opportunity to collaborate in order to strengthen news coverage in both communities, bringing the effort Mark started under the banner of a growing family-owned media company. We think this is a win-win for both parties — and more importantly, for all of our valued readers and advertisers.”
The Zebulon Times launched in April 2018 followed shortly thereafter by the Southern Nash News. As of April 25, both weekly newspapers began publishing a combined Thursday edition containing stories from Nash and Wake counties.
As part of the transition, The Wake Weekly will expand its coverage of Wake Forest, Rolesville and Franklinton to include Zebulon, Wendell and Knightdale. In January, The Wilson Times Co. purchased the Wake Forest-based newspaper from Todd Allen, whose parents owned and operated it for nearly 50 years.
Zepezauer said consolidating coverage of northern and eastern Wake County news and sports into a single publication fills a void left when the Eastern Wake News ceased publication in 2017.
The Southern Nash News nameplate will no longer appear in print, but subscribers can continue to read Cone’s reporting and commentary in The Enterprise. Cone plans to write a weekly column and contribute news stories to the combined edition.
“Having grown up in the southern Nash community, it’s been a lot of fun covering the community and bringing the community information, and we look forward to still doing that in the collaboration,” Cone said. “By taking this step, the readers of both papers get what they like. I think in the end, it’s going to be really good, well-balanced coverage of southern Nash County.”
Cone’s mother, well-known Spring Hope community leader and civic booster Jan Mills, takes over front-desk duties at The Enterprise’s 113 N. Ash St. office with the Southern Nash News office’s closure.
Deborah Denton, who currently serves as a customer care representative for both The Enterprise and the Johnstonian News, will be solely based at the Johnston County newspaper’s office in Kenly.
The partnership involves The Wilson Times Co.’s purchase of The Zebulon Times and its website and The Southern Nash News print edition. Cone will continue to own and operate SouthernNashNews.com as a freestanding website. Selected content from the site may also appear in The Enterprise and on SpringHopeEnterprise.com.
The Zebulon Times and Southern Nash News print edition represent The Wilson Times Co.’s eighth and ninth newspaper acquisitions in the last year. Following their merger with The Wake Weekly and The Enterprise and the consolidation of four Johnston County zoned editions into the countywide Johnstonian News, the company will continue to publish one daily and four weekly publications.
Named for its flagship Wilson newspaper, The Wilson Times Co. 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. Fifth-generation family owner Morgan Dickerman serves as the company’s CEO and chairman of the board.
The 123-year-old media company also operates Kingsdale Media, a digital marketing agency that places programmatic advertising on national websites, smartphone apps and video and music-streaming services and can target audiences by both geographic location and subject matter interest. For more information, visit www.kingsdalemedia.com.
Other digital products include event ticketing website WAWTix.com and regional car-shopping website NCWheels.com.