TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — James B. “Jim” Boone Jr., the founder and chairman of the board of Boone Newsmedia, Inc., a media company which operates newspapers, magazines and websites in a dozen states, died Monday. He was 87.
Boone followed his father, Pulitzer Prize winner Buford Boone, into the newspaper business, and then created a media company that now owns or manages 91 newspapers, websites, magazines and shopping guides across the country. The company, which had operated under Boone Newspapers, Inc., was renamed Boone Newsmedia, Inc., in 2022 to reflect its expansion into digital-centered media. Boone remained chairman of BNI until his death.
“Jim Boone, by his example, set the highest bar for so many for how to lead and serve a community, civic organization, church, a business organization or his family. Put simply, he made doing the right thing the main thing and that guided his every choice and decision,” said Todd Carpenter, president and CEO of Boone Newsmedia and Carpenter Newsmedia, wrote in a statement provided by the company.
Boone was born in Macon, Georgia, on Nov. 25, 1935. He graduated from the University of Alabama in 1958. He worked at newspapers in Texas and Virginia before succeeding his father as publisher of The Tuscaloosa News.
BNI acquired newspapers across the country and now owns or operates publications in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas.
He earned numerous civic, industry and business awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alabama Press Association, the Henry and Julia Tutwiler Distinguished Service Award from the University of Alabama and the Casey Award from the University of Minnesota for leadership in the newspaper industry. Boone also served on the Board of Directors of Regions Financial Corporation.
Boone is survived by his wife, Carolyn, and five children. The funeral is planned for Saturday in Lowndesboro, Alabama.