Vevay Media Group buys newspapers


Vevay Media Group has assumed control of the Vevay Reveille-Enterprise and the Switzerland Democrat.

The two newspapers, previously owned by Vevay Newspapers Inc., came under the leadership of longtime Editor and General Manager Patrick Lanman in the Jan. 30 acquisition.

Lanman and his wife, Jacquita, own Vevay Media Group.

Vevay Newspapers last changed hands in 1959, when it was purchased by Don Wallis Sr., M.E. Garber and Lloyd G. Neal Sr. In 1988 the Wallis family obtained full ownership of the business, and Don Wallis Jr. inherited the newspapers after his father’s death in 1989.

“The Wallis family is pleased to entrust Pat with the Vevay Newspapers,” said Laura Wallis, daughter of the late Don Wallis Jr.

Pat Lanman has been an integral part of Vevay Newspapers since beginning work at the paper as a reporter in 1984. He has won many newspaper awards, including the 2012 Charlie Biggs Commitment to Community Award from the Hoosier State Press Association Foundation.

Under Lanman’s tutelage, the newspapers have won multiple awards for journalistic achievement from the HSPA Foundation. Lanman currently is serving as president of the HSPA Foundation board of directors, having served on that board for the past three years.

Prior to that, he served on the board of directors of the Hoosier State Press Association, which represents 165 newspapers in Indiana, and served as that board’s president in 2005.

Lanman worked closely with Don Wallis Jr. for many years until Wallis passed away unexpectedly in January 2012. Wallis was committed to maintaining the newspapers’ role in the community.

“Pat shares Don’s commitment to community reporting and the importance of the contribution of the Vevay newspapers to strengthening, reflecting, building and maintaining Vevay and the greater Switzerland County area,” said Sarah Wallis, another of Don Wallis’ daughters.

“There aren’t words to describe how honored I am to assume the leadership of Vevay’s newspapers,” Lanman said. “Working with Don Jr. for the past 20 years, I can honestly say that he taught me everything I know about community journalism, and I am honored to have the opportunity to carry on the work and contribute to the community I call home.”

Lanman said readers wouldn’t see many changes in the newspapers.

The staff will remain the same. Office Manager Ginny Leap will soon celebrate her 50th year at the newspaper, and Erin Williams will continue to handle advertising and design.

Along with them, community correspondents and columnists who contribute their efforts and time to the papers each week will remain part of the newspaper, Lanman said.

A native of Centerville, Lanman is a 1983 graduate of Hanover College. He came to Vevay in May 1984.

He and his wife, Jacquita, have been married for over 30 years. She is a first-grade teacher at Jefferson-Craig Elementary School. They have three daughters. Abby Fox and her husband, Adam, live in Rising Sun; Emily Lanman lives in Athens, Ga.; and Hilary Lanman is a junior at Huntington University.

“The Vevay Reveille-Enterprise is the oldest weekly newspaper in the state of Indiana and will celebrate its 200th birthday in 2016,” Lanman said. “There is a great tradition of the community newspaper here in Switzerland County, and I am honored to continue that.”

­— ­Vevay Media Group