Better Newspapers Inc. purchases Leader-Union

Better Newspapers Inc. last Thursday completed the purchase of The Leader-Union from Landmark Community Newspapers.
Based in Mascoutah, Better Newspapers is a family-owned company that now operates 25 publications in Illinois and Missouri.
Owner Greg Hoskins now will be the publisher of The Leader-Union.
Rich Bauer will continue as the editor of The Leader-Union, and other long-time employees are Office Manager Lovetta Lockart, Sales Manager Susie Pontious and pressman Mike Rosenkoetter. Paula Atkinson is an employee in circulation and classifieds.
Hoskins said he expected few changes in The Leader-Union, but some future streamlining of operations.
“These are challenging times for independently-operated, standalone newspapers,” Bauer said.
Hoskins said, “With the quality of the product, the experience of the staff and it’s location, closer to two of our other newspapers, we felt that The Leader-Union would be a great addition to our family.”
“Better Newspapers Inc. gives us the opportunity to utilize the resources and expertise of a company that has been successful in rescuing and continuing to publish community newspapers in cities similar to Vandalia,” he said.
“I’m extremely proud of the award-winning publications we provide to communities in both Illinois and Missouri. Our team of journalists report on local events as well as continually share ideas and information in this ever-changing COVID environment.” Hoskins said. “And our advertising specialists are available to assist you in marketing your business throughout any or all of our regions.”
Hoskins bought his first group of newspapers in Mascoutah. He and Cleon Birkemeyer formed Better Newspapers Inc. on May 1, 1991, and the newspapers included the Mascoutah Herald, Clinton County News,
Fairview Heights Tribune and Scott Flier (which serves Scott Air Force Base).
Since that time, Hoskins has purchased Mt. Zion Region News, Arthur Graphic/ Clarion, Southern Piatt Record-Herald, Altamont News, St. Elmo Banner, Villa Grove News, Southern Champaign County Today, Bond and Fayette County Shopper, The Shoppers Review in Highland, The Troy Times-Tribune, The Nashville News and The Illinois Business Journal,  as well as Mountain Echo in Ironton, Mo., Wayne County Banner in Piedmont, The Reynolds County Courier in Ellington, The Ozark Horse Trader in West Plains and Ste. Genevieve Herald.
In 2012, Hoskins expanded his corporation by building a regional press plant in Altamont. This plant not only prints publications owned by Better Newspapers, but also a variety of other newspapers in the area.
Hoskins attended the University of Iowa, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. His first newspaper job was in the sales department of The Times Press in Streator. It was then that Hoskins discovered his love and respect for newspapers at the local company.
After leaving the Times Press, he began working for American Publishing Company in West Frankfort.
The experience took him to Arizona to work for Kramer Publications, which produced a daily newspaper and approximately 17 weekly newspaper and shopper publications.
The corporate headquarters of Better Newspapers Inc. is located in Mascoutah.
It is an organization founded on family loyalty. Greg Hoskins is president of the corporation, and his wife, Linda, works in the editorial department.
His son, Scott Hoskins, is the regional business manager, and his other son, Mark, is the regional manager for the press plant and newspapers in Altamont, St. Elmo and Vandalia.

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