816 North

July 18, 2014

Platte County newspaper has new owners, a father and son

Adam Johnson and his father, Will Johnson, also own the Mound City News in northwest Missouri. The new publisher of the Platte County Citizen once was the weekly’s student writer.

The Platte County Citizen’s new owners want to make one thing clear: They did not buy the weekly newspaper because they can run it better from an hour away in northwest Missouri, where they own the Mound City News.

Adam Johnson, who makes up half the ownership team that also includes his father Will Johnson, said he expects his role there to resemble that of a consultant. He said they’ll let the new publisher, Ross Martin, set the paper’s direction.

Martin was hired in May as managing editor but was promoted with the change in ownership. He had spent 11 years at the St. Joseph News-Press, a job he applied for with experience as the Citizen’s student writer.

“Ross is a hometown kid,” Johnson said. “That made our decision a lot easier.”

Johnson said his family's interest in the publication coincided with the former owner's decision to sell. Platte City resident Lee Stubbs, the former owner and publisher, had been seeking a way to end his role at the newspaper for a few years before the deal was brokered July 2, Johnson said.

Johnson said there are no immediate plans to make changes in the Platte County Citizen’s staffing. The only major change is that the paper will be printedin Mound City, a move that Johnson said would save “a little” money versus using the Gatehouse Media print shop in Independence.

The Platte County Citizen’s newspaper and shopper have a combined circulation of 10,500 issues printed weekly, of which 3,500 are the news publication.

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