Chieftain-Sentinel Publications of Bonner Springs is being purchased by The World Company, owner of the Lawrence Journal-World.
The sale includes the Bonner Springs-Edwardsville Chieftain newspaper, the Basehor Sentinel and the Tri-County Chieftain, a shopper. The deal is effective Oct. 1. Terms were not disclosed.
The papers have been owned for 21 years by Clausie and Jean Smith.
"All of us at The World Company consider ourselves fortunate to be able to acquire the Chieftain and Sentinel," said Dolph C. Simons Jr., president of The World Company. "The Smith family has done a terrific job in building these papers and being such enthusiastic and effective leaders for the Bonner Springs, Basehor and Edwardsville area."
Clausie Smith, 63, said the need to upgrade technology used in producing the newspapers played a role in his decision to sell.
"I always said I would be retired by the time I'm 65," Clausie Smith said.
"Living without deadlines will be nice," Jean Smith added.
The couple's daughter, Angela Skwarlo of Lawrence, will remain with the newspapers as publisher. She currently is advertising manager of Chieftain-Sentinel Publications.
Operation of the newspapers has been a Smith family endeavor. As publisher, Clausie Smith writes a great deal including sports and oversees production of the newspapers. Jean Smith works part time, handling circulation and composing ads.
Simons said members of the Smith family have set a high standard for the new ownership to match.
"We will make every effort to have the Chieftain and Sentinel be the best possible papers for a market this size," Simons said. "Likewise, we want to do what we can to help Bonner Springs and Basehor take advantage of all their opportunities.
"This is one of the fastest-growing areas of the state. We are strong supporters of sound growth and understand the need for planning and vision. In addition we believe in attracting new business and industry to provide good jobs for residents of all ages and support excellence in the school system."
The World Company is a family-owned firm that got its start in northeast Kansas newspapers in the 1890s. It publishes the Lawrence Journal-World, a daily newspaper, as well as four weekly newspapers: The Mirror in Tonganoxie, the DeSoto Explorer, the Eudora News and the Baldwin City Signal.
The World Company also owns Sunflower Cablevision, which provides cable television service to about 30,000 customers in Lawrence, Eudora and portions of rural Douglas County, as well as about 1,400 customers in Tonganoxie, Basehor, Linwood and portions of rural southern Leavenworth County.