New owner, new name
Jones Publishing is now JP Media
By Jane Myhra
Jones Publishing Inc., of Iola was recently purchased by its current president, Diana Jones.
On Aug. 31, JP Media LLC purchased Jones Publishing, Inc. in a planned transfer of the company from Joe and Maggie Jones to Diana Jones, their daughter-in-law.
“I have been running the company as president for about a year and it was time to make the transition to the new company,” said Diana Jones, who joined the company in 2011. “This transaction solidifies the future of the company in Iola. We will be here for the long haul.”
Planning for the future is what Diana Jones does best. She said JP Media will continue to move forward with the same publications and staff.
“I am always thinking ahead two, five and 10 years to what lies ahead in the publishing industry for each of our titles and how we can best evolve to continue to meet the needs of our readers,” she said.
Being able to live and work in Iola is the most exiting part, according to Diana Jones.
“Iola is where I get to spend the rest of my life and that makes me happy,” she said. “This is a wonderful, caring community and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
“When considering a buyer, we had several objectives that we hoped to accomplish and this purchase fulfills them all,” Joe Jones said. “Diana provides competent leadership, stability, local ownership and integrity, providing a bright future for the employees and the Iola community. To be able to pass the ownership to the next generation while keeping it in the family is a bonus that makes the transfer of ownership especially attractive.”
“I actually had mixed feelings about our retirement,” Maggie Jones said. “On the one hand, Joe and I had worked side by side for more than 30 years, building a company that gave us so many challenges, but also so much contentment and enjoyment. It was our life.”
“Now I’m thrilled that Diana will be owner and president of the new JP Media,” Maggie added. “What more could we ask than to have such a competent and hard-working young woman to continue this business.”
Joe and Maggie are completely confident in Diana’s abilities.
“Diana has built a strong support team,” Joe said. “Her leadership, combined with her talents, drive and determination, will be key in moving the organization to the next level.”
“I completely trust, admire and respect her abilities,” Maggie said. “And an additional bonus for us is knowing that the company will stay in our family. That’s unusual these days, and Joe and I are so blessed that she will be carrying on where we left off.”
“The best part for us is that Diana’s personality, her enthusiasm and certainly her business skills have made what could have been a difficult transition so very easy for us,” Maggie said.
Joe and Maggie Jones started Jones Publishing on March 1, 1986.
“Joe and Maggie built an amazing company and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue what they started – they set me up to succeed,” Diana said. “This is a solid company, with a top-notch staff.”
“This was my opportunity to put the future into our name,” she added. “With a few strategic hires over the past year, we are moving into becoming a media company, not just a publishing company. The goal is to not just provide print, but to increase the digital footprint for each of our titles strategically.”
JP Media LLC (Jones Publishing, Inc.) was the recipient of the Small Business Administration (SBA) 2017 Jeffrey Butland Small Family-Owned Business Award.
The SBA award recognizes small, family-owned businesses that have successfully passed from one generation to the next and have at least a 15-year track record.
Editor Stephanie Hintz nominated the company for the SBA state award because Diana’s expertise and her effective day-to-day operation of a busy publishing firm is a huge asset to the entire company.
“I regularly see the respect and value she affords our entire team, and I firmly believe that is the essence of a remarkable leader,” Hintz said. “She is truly the lifeblood of this organization.”
JP Media currently has 22 employees and nine company-owned magazine titles, two custom publications, serves three member organizations, hosts multiple websites, discussion boards and produces several e-newsletters.
Their current titles include an aviation division: Cessna Owner Organization (Cessna Owner magazine) and Piper Owner Society (PIPERS Magazine). The collectibles division is comprised of DOLLS magazine and Teddy Bear and Friends. The business-to-business division holds Smart Retailer, Sunshine Artist, and Handmade Business magazines.
A sister company, CrossLife LLC (owned by JP Media) houses the inspirational division with two magazines (Today’s Christian Living and Today’s Pastor), as well as two member organizations (CAP Benefits Association and Homeschool Benefits Association). The company also provides contract graphic design and editing services for other magazines and book projects from organizations/people in the industries they serve.