FAIRFAX Regional Media has acquired Beaudesert Times Pty Ltd.
The Beaudesert Times, a paid weekly (Wednesday) tabloid format newspaper, has won scores of major Country Press Association and PANPA awards. Sister publication, Jimboomba Times, is a highly successful weekly quarter fold with a print run of 20,245 copies. The company also has a commercial printing operation.
The sale marks the end of an era. Outgoing owners Mark and Gail Hodgson were the third generation of the Hodgson family to run the business which was originally purchased by Mark’s grandfather, Frank, in 1930.
Mark, who started with the company as a 16-year-old cadet journalist, took over management duties in 1976 at the tender age of 22 following the untimely death of his father Roy.
“The industry has seen so many incredible changes from when my grandfather first purchased the business and over the years we have gone from producing the newspaper in hand set type to computer technology and now we’re in the digital era,” Mr Hodgson said.
“We’ll miss it as it’s been a big part of our lives, but I think it was the right time (to sell) because Fairfax has the ability and commitment to move the business forward into the new technological age.”
Mr Hodgson has been a stalwart of the newspaper industry.
He is a past president and life member of the Queensland Country Press Association and served as Country Press Australia (CPA) president from 1988 to 1990.
Current CPA president Bob Yeates paid tribute to Mr Hodgson: “He is a gentleman in the industry – there is no doubt about that”.
The Newspaper Works executive director of publishing, Mitchell Murphy, will write a special tribute about the Hodgson's contribution to publishing in the next PANPA Bulletin.