Memphis’ Tri-State Defender will have Memphis owner

From the Tri-State Defender, a Memphis newspaper that targets an African-American audience:

For the first time in its storied 62-year history, the Tri-State Defender will be both locally owned and operated.

Following an extended period of discussion and negotiations, Real Times Media, Inc. (RTM) has agreed to sell the assets of Tri-State Defender, Inc. (TSD) to BEST Media Properties, Inc., a Tennessee Corporation established by current TSD President and Publisher, Bernal E. Smith II.

Smith structured the new company – including the establishment of a local investment group that will comprise its board of directors – to accelerate the historic publication’s move forward into the digital and multi-media age.

“We have a strong team of well-respected business leaders that we will introduce to the community at a later date,” said Smith. “We are poised for growth to move swiftly and profitably into diverse multi-media arenas, including print, web/digital, television, social media/mobile and radio.

“The TSD is a great brand with significant historical meaning and respect throughout the Greater Memphis community. We plan to leverage the brand for future growth and impact here in the Mid-South and ultimately on a global basis.”

Smith said The New Tri-State Defender will continue to work closely with RTM on digital strategies and national advertising buys, maintaining a positive and mutually beneficial relationship.