Reporter Newspapers and its parent company, Springs Publishing, have a new owner.

Keith Pepper, an Atlanta native who grew up in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, purchased the company this month from founder Steve Levene. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Keith Pepper, the new owner of Springs Publishing.

“Hyperlocal continues to be a bright spot in the changing media landscape and I couldn’t be happier about the opportunity to build on the foundation that Steve and the team have built,” said Pepper.

Springs Publishing was founded in 2006, around the beginning of an era of local suburban cityhood movements. Levene, a former Wall Street Journal business executive and Sandy Springs resident, recognized the need for a local paper of record. The Sandy Springs Reporter, along with the Buckhead Reporter, were launched in early 2007 and were followed by expansion into Dunwoody and Brookhaven. In 2013, the company acquired Atlanta INtown and three years later introduced Atlanta Senior Life. Today, the six publications have combined monthly circulation of 100,000 copies.

Steve Levene, the founder of Springs Publishing.

“After a 40-plus year career in the newspaper business, it’s the right time and opportunity for me to pass the baton to a new local owner,” said Levene. “I’m delighted that this acquisition keeps our group of papers and talented staff focused on our communities. We have a wonderful base of readers and advertisers who have fueled our growth over the past 14 years. They will enjoy getting to know Keith and be impressed with his enthusiasm for hyperlocal media.”

Pepper, whose business experience includes digital marketing and print media, said he plans to “not change much” about the papers, but he does have plans to “lean into more ways to meet our readers where they are. There is an insatiable appetite for community news and I’m committed to finding engaging ways to deliver it.”

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.