Citizen owners Lee and Patricia Stubbs selling newspaper, printing business to Northwest Missouri publishers

Lee and Patricia Stubbs have agreed to sell The Platte County Citizen, bringing to an end a lengthy and successful tenure of ownership. The sale becomes official July 2, with Will and Adam Johnson of Mound City, Mo., taking over ownership. Lee Stubbs, 51, first came to work for previous publisher Paul Campbell in 1995 before purchasing the paper from him in August of 1998. He spent the past 16 years as owner/publisher/managing editor. “We have been extremely fortunate the past 16 years to be the owners of The Citizen,” Lee Stubbs said. “We would like to thank the business community and our readers for helping make The Citizen the most successful weekly newspaper in Platte County during our time at the helm. We are confident that the Johnsons, managing editor Ross Martin and The Citizen’s great staff will continue The Citizen’s tradition of fair and objective journalism and strong community involvement.” Martin, recently hired as managing editor, becomes the publisher, but no other changes in staff are planned at The Citizen. “Although The Platte County Citizen will technically be owned by Platte County Publishing LLC, Ross Martin will be its publisher along with a great group of staff members which has helped the Stubbses provide Platte County with an award-winning newspaper,” the Johnsons said in a prepared statement. Will Johnson, 55, spent 32 years working in newspapers, starting in 1978 with a job in Appleton City, Mo. He also owned the Tarkio (Mo.) Avalanche from 1981-2010 and the Fairfax (Mo.) Forum from 1998-2010. After going into “semi-retirement,” Will, along with his son Adam, 27, built a newspaper printing facility in Mound City that now provides its services to about 15 publications, including the Mound City News, which Adam purchased in 2007. The printing facility also handles specialty jobs for clients in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. Adam and Will have each held the distinction of the youngest publisher in the state of Missouri at separate points, and the Johnson family has a record of serving on numerous community boards, economic development groups and volunteer organizations. “We are very community-minded and small town newspapers run in our blood,” the Johnsons said. “We just look at it as being caretakers of your newspaper. We want to continue the great job Lee and Patty have done over the years, and we know the great staff that is in place will continue to make that happen for the loyal readership of The Citizen.” The Citizen enters its 54th year of publication in July. The business also includes the Citizen Shopper, a total market coverage publication and Citizen Printing, a commercial printing business. It also has a strong online presence with its website,, a Facebook page and Twitter accounts.