The Group Duncan Corporation has purchased The Licking News, effective August 1, 2023. The newspaper staff and previous owner will remain employed with the company.
Rick Duncan, President of Group Duncan, said, “First, I am happy that the previous owner, Shari Harris, and Managing Editor Christy Porter have agreed to stay with the paper, as they are instrumental in the community.
“I have always had a passion for news outlets, especially sports and small-town media, where reporting is not tainted. Shari and Christy have done a fantastic job with the newspaper and Group Duncan is excited to invest in the paper, taking it to the next level, especially with expansions on local, county and state sporting events and enhancing the essence of the overall local news.”
“I’m excited to see Group Duncan take the helm,” said Harris. “My concern has always been the continuance of The Licking News. I believe Group Duncan will spur growth and ensure the future of The Licking News for many years to come.”
“One of the most exciting aspects of this purchase is all the old newspapers stored in archives, dating back to the late 1800s,” shared Duncan. “I can’t wait for our existing and new staff to bring some of those historic stories back to life.
“One of Group Duncan’s major draws that led to this purchase was the positivity that the paper had with the local area and their relationship with the community.”
Group Duncan states it will diligently work to create a positive atmosphere with The Licking News, just as it has had in the past. Duncan is well known for building Houston Sports Weekly in Houston, Texas, during the late ’90s, into one of the most read sports publications in that area. Duncan’s wife, who is a Missouri native and an attorney in Texas and Missouri, was born and grew up in Rolla, Mo. Her father pastored churches in Flat and Salem in the ’60s and ’70s. Given the strong local connection, although Mrs. Duncan will not be directly involved in The Licking News, her local passion and decades of connections to this region of Missouri will have a strong impact on the success and influence that the paper has in working within the community in a positive manner.
“I look forward to continuing to serve the community on a more expansive level,” said Porter. “Small town newspaper is all about community and will remain so going into the future with Group Duncan and The Licking News staff. We would like to welcome Mr. and Mrs. Duncan to Licking!”
Duncan said that the paper will not be altered from providing readers sound and honest reporting and no major changes will be enacted, just positive expansion.
“The paper will remain the local outlet wherein the readers will still receive the same local news, but with more in-depth coverage and much more sports coverage for all the area’s school athletic events,” he said.