Houston, Texas-based Southern Newspapers is buying the Lawton Constitution (Oklahoma).

Southern is a 70-year-old privately held company that operations 15 newspapers in Texas and Alabama. The Lawton Constitution will be the company's 16th newspaper and its first in Oklahoma. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The Constitution has paid circulation Monday through Saturday of 16,500 and 18,000 on Sundays. Brothers Bill Burgess Jr. and Brad Burgess, who practice law and operate other businesses in Lawton, acquired the company in 2012 from long-time local owners Steve and Don Bentley.

 "My brother and I have enjoyed being stewards of this important community institution the past six years. We believe we have selected a new owner that will carry on in the best interests of Lawton, the readers of the Constitution and our wonderful employees," said Brad Burgess.

Lissa Walls, CEO and owner of Southern Newspapers, Inc., said, "Our company is proud to have been selected as the new owner of The Constitution. Our specialty is community newspapers, and we are looking forward to working with leaders at the newspaper and in Lawton to sustain and support the community. One of our main reasons for choosing this newspaper is that Lawton itself is a beautiful, dynamic community with a great future."

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a New Mexico-based media merger and acquisition firm, is representing the Burgess brothers in the sale

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