Paxton Media Group, a fourth-generation, family-owned media company, founded in 1896, assumed ownership of The Shelbyville News on Aug. 1, 1999.
Since then, Paxton Media Group has sought to combine the best elements of family ownership with the advantages and operating efficiencies of a larger organization.
The Shelbyville News was launched Dec. 1, 1947, following the merger of The Shelbyville Democrat and The Shelbyville Republican. It traces its heritage to The Daily Republican, which is believed to have been the first daily newspaper published in Shelby County, started by Sim Thompson in 1875.
In 1884, he sold the paper the Shelbyville Printing Co., which, with various editors, owned The Republican until it was bought by the Shelbyville Democrat Publishing Co. in 1938.
On May 4, 1880, The Democrat became a daily newspaper, published by Scott Ray. On June 1, 1904, the Shelbyville Democrat Publishing Co. was formed and bought the paper from the Ray heirs. Stockholders were Shelby County residents.
John Day DePrez held the controlling interest and served as editor and publisher of The Democrat until his death in 1937. On the death of her husband, Mrs. John Day (Emma) DePrez became publisher and remained associated with the paper almost until her death in 1957.
After The Republican was acquired by the Democrat Publishing Co. in 1938, The Republican and The Democrat retained their separate identities until 1947. Then a new corporation, Shelbyville Newspapers Inc., was formed and acquired both papers. The Democrat and The Republican were merged, and The Shelbyville News was established.
John C. DePrez, a nephew of John Day DePrez, became president and publisher in 1953. Upon his death in 1988, his son became president.
In 1999, Paul Mahony was named publisher and served in that position until 2006. Rachael Raney became publisher on Jan. 1, 2007.
The paper underwent leadership changes in June 2016. Bob Hansen, who was editor in 2001-02, was named publisher and Jack Hutcheson, who had been with the paper for seven years, became the general manager and held that role for three years.
In August of 2017, Jeff Brown, sports editor for The Shelbyville News since October of 2000, was named managing editor. Kris Mills, a former intern with The Shelbyville News, was hired as sports editor.
Hansen stepped down as publisher in late 2017 to take another position within Paxton Media and Tina West took over the leadership role in December 2017.
West retired in the first quarter of 2019 and Marka Sonoga, the advertising director of The Shelbyville News, was named publisher.