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Better Newspapers purchases Double E Publishing Co. in Carlinville

Jay and Paula Endress, owners of the Macoupin County Enquirer-Democrat, Coal Country Times, and Enquirer-Express, have announced the sale of the publications to Greg Hoskins, publisher of Better Newspapers Inc.

The Endresses have owned the Enquirer-Democrat and Enquirer-Express since 2008. In 2009 they started a new publication, the Coal Country Times, to better serve the southern part of Macoupin County.

“We are most grateful to our advertisers for their continued support over the years and to our employees, who each and every week work tirelessly to promote quality community journalism and advertising promotions that Macoupin County residents depend on,” said Paula Endress. “Additionally, we have enjoyed serving the community and being active members in promoting Carlinville through Shop Local First initiatives.”

Endress noted, “Shortly after purchasing the Enquirer-Democrat, the newspaper devoted significant time and resources to strengthen its reporting and investigative journalism which resulted in it being named second in the state within our circulation division.”

“While this sale marks the end of our nearly 20-year tenure in newspaper publishing, which included the Zionsville Times-Sentinel in Zionsville, Ind., we remain firm in our belief that community journalism is imperative to the health of the communities it serves by the sharing of information and serving an important role in holding local government and elected officials accountable. Thanks to our staff, the newspaper during our tenure has done just that and has been recognized for its editorial and advertising success with honors from the Illinois Press Association and National Newspaper Association,” Endress said, adding, “We are confident that our colleague Greg Hoskins and Better Newspapers, Inc., will continue to provide quality publications that will serve the communities needs.”

The Endresses are looking forward to having more time to spend with their son, Ethan Donald Endress, the namesake of Double E Publishing Co.

Based in Mascoutah, Better Newspapers is a family-owned company currently publishing newspapers in Illinois and Missouri.

“My staff and I are looking forward to meeting the needs of Macoupin County and surrounding communities,” Hoskins said.

Hoskins bought his first group of newspapers in Mascoutah when he formed Better Newspapers Inc. on May 1, 1991. The newspapers included: the Mascoutah Herald, Clinton County News, Fairview Heights Tribune, and the Scott Flier (which serves Scott Air Force Base).

Since that time, Hoskins has purchased the following Illinois publications: Altamont News, Arthur Graphic Clarion, South Piatt Record Herald, The Nashville News, Troy Times-Tribune, Tuscola Journal, South Champaign Co. Today, Vandalia Leader Union, Pike Press, Calhoun News-Herald, Scott County Times, Green Prairie Press, Jersey County Journal, The Shopper’s Review, Bond & Fayette Shopper, The Breeze Courier (a daily publications) and the Illinois Business Journal (a monthly business publication).

The company’s Missouri publications include: Wayne County Journal Banner, Reynolds County Courier, Iron Mountain Echo, Ste. Genevieve Herald, Douglas County Herald, Ozark Horse Trader, Echo Extra, and Ste. Genevieve Mailbag.

In 2012, Hoskins expanded his corporation by building a regional press plant in Altamont, Ill. This plant not only prints publications owned by Better Newspapers but also a variety of other newspapers in the area. They also own and operate several flat stock writing companies.

Hoskins, originally from Streator, Ill, resides in Mascoutah with his wife Linda. His oldest son, Scott Hoskins, is the business manager of the Mascoutah office, and his youngest son, Mark Hoskins, operates the Altamont News and press plant.


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