The company that owns The Sanford Herald has purchased a chain of nearly 50 small newspapers.

Paxton Media Group announced the purchase of Landmark Community Newspapers LLC, based in Shelbyville, Kentucky. PMG has owned The Sanford Herald since April 1, 1998.

The deal, which was finalized this week, includes the purchase of all 47 daily and weekly newspapers in the Landmark chain, said Jamie Paxton, PMG president and CEO.

“We are very excited to add these newspapers into the PMG portfolio,” Paxton said. “PMG believes strongly in the value of local newspapers and the vital role they play in the communities that they serve. We appreciate Landmark choosing us to be the new stewards of these important community assets.”

The 47 papers are spread across Kentucky, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

One is in North Carolina, the Brunswick Beacon in Shallotte near the southeast coast. It and three papers in Virginia, three in South Carolina and three in Tennessee will join the North Carolina/Tennessee/Georgia division of Paxton Media Group.

PMG will officially take over operations in early June, but there will be a transition period to PMG regarding systems and procedures, Paxton said.

PMG, which is headquartered in Paducah, Kentucky, will now own a total of 120 publications across 14 states, including 10 in North Carolina.

Landmark Community Newspapers traces its roots to 1966, when a group of eight local newspaper publishers decided to pool their resources and purchase a printing plant. The company was incorporated as Newspapers Inc. two years later. Newspapers Inc. was then purchased by Landmark Communications Inc. in 1973.