Rick Thomason / Jeff Bobo
The history of our news organization can be traced back to 1916. Since then we have reflected Kingsport and its growth.
The Kingsport Times was the first newspaper to serve Kingsport. Like many Kingsporters, it had its beginnings elsewhere. Printed weekly as the “Progress,” at first in Johnson City and delivered here, the Kingsport Times was read in 1916 by the residents of an area incorporated the following year as the City of Kingsport. It later started semi-weekly editions and thrived with the prospering city. Daily publication began in 1924.
In 1938, a group of stockholders headed by C.P. Edwards Jr. bought the newspaper, and Edwards became president. In 1942, publication of the morning Kingsport News was started.
In its earlier days, the publishing firm, located on Market Street, employed a staff of 14 and operated a commercial printing plant as a sideline. But just as Kingsport was growing beyond its corporate limits, the newspaper had outgrown its earlier quarters and expanded to three downtown buildings.
Sandusky Newspapers Inc. purchased the Times-News from Edwards in 1962.
Since 1970, the newspaper has been produced at the Kingsport Publishing Corporation’s plant and offices at 701 Lynn Garden Drive, and the Kingsport Times-News has continued to record the Kingsport region’s progress.
The Kingsport Times News began 2020 under a new company name – Six Rivers Media, LLC.
Former owner Sandusky Newspapers Inc. sold all properties outside Northeast Tennessee, thus the formation of the new company with a name more reflective of the paper’s local ownership and presence.
Principals in the new company are David Rau, Allen Rau (who lives in the Tri-Cities) and Madeline Rau. David serves as CEO, Allen as vice president and Madeline as secretary. Rick Thomason, publisher of the Times News and the Johnson City Press, is president of Six Rivers Media.
In addition to the Times News and the Press, The Erwin Record, Jonesborough Herald & Tribune, Mountain City Tomahawk, and digital agency NET360 round out Six Rivers Media.