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December 17, 2021

Rappahannock Media will buy FauquierNow in Jan.

Rappahannock Media owns InsideNoVa, Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine, The Rappahanock News and The Culpeper Times.
FauquierNow is a natural fit for Rappahannock Media. Within Fauquier County, it’s an ideal digital complement to Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine . . . . And online, Fauquier Now will supplement our news coverage in surrounding counties of Prince William, Rappahannock and Culpeper and provide additional perspective on regional issues.
— Rappahannock Media COO Bruce Potter
FauquierNow’s owners have reached an agreement to sell the 10-year-old local news website to Rappahannock Media LLC, the parties announced Friday.

The transaction will close at the beginning of 2022.

Rappahannock Media owns InsideNoVa, the region’s largest news website, along with The Rappahannock News, The Culpeper Times and community lifestyle magazines serving Warrenton, Gainesville and Haymarket.

FauquierNow founders Ellen and Lawrence “Lou” Emerson of Warrenton will retire after working with the new owners through the transition.

“When Ellen and I decided to retire, we approached the people best positioned to carry FauquierNow forward and improve it,” said Mr. Emerson, the website editor. “The conversation started over lunch in August with Bruce Potter and Dennis Brack. Over the next few months, we methodically crafted an agreement that Ellen and I hope will work well for the community and the new owners.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“FauquierNow is a natural fit for Rappahannock Media,” said Mr. Potter, chief operating officer of Rappahannock Media and publisher of InsideNoVa. “Within Fauquier County, it’s an ideal digital complement to Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine, which reaches over 11,000 households every month in print. And online, Fauquier Now will supplement our news coverage in surrounding counties of Prince William, Rappahannock and Culpeper and provide additional perspective on regional issues.”

A private, locally-owned company based in Washington, Va., Rappahannock Media has offices in Warrenton, Culpeper and Woodbridge.

Rappahannock Media will continue to operate FauquierNow as a stand-alone website, although it will share some resources and features with the company’s other properties, Mr. Potter added.

“Lou and Ellen Emerson will stay on in a part-time capacity during a transition period, while Rappahannock Media expands its staff to provide coverage of Fauquier County and serve the businesses in the community.”

Launched in October 2011, FauquierNow grew to an audience of more than 90,000 unique visitors and 500,000 page views a month. Its Facebook followers total 36,000.

> Editor’s column: You have made our work possible

FauquierNow three times has earned the Virginia Press Association Sweepstakes Award as the state’s best online-only news operation.

It also serves as the community’s dominant digital advertising platform.

“We have wonderful support from the business community,” said Mrs. Emerson, FauquierNow’s publisher. “And, we’ve worked closely with advertisers to create very effective, reasonably-priced campaigns.

“I’ll focus on a smooth transition for advertisers, whom we hope will continue to support Fauquier journalism,” she added. “For local businesses, the site delivers strong, measurable results and unmatched interaction with potential customers.”

InsideNoVa.com has more than 800,000 unique visitors a month, 102,000 Facebook fans and more than 80,000 email newsletter subscribers. In addition to providing news, sports and feature coverage from across Northern and Piedmont Virginia, it offers an online ticketing platform, a job board, a complete events calendar and other services.

“Lou and Ellen Emerson are giants within the community news industry in Virginia, and we’re honored and privileged to have the opportunity to continue the legacy they built with FauquierNow,” said Mr. Brack, Rappahannock Media president and publisher of The Rappahannock News. “We look forward to working with them during the transition period and wish them all the best in a well-deserved retirement.”

The Emersons in January 2006 sold The Fauquier Citizen, a 10,000-paid-circulation weekly newspaper founded in 1989, to Arundel Communications, then publisher of The Fauquier Times. The transaction also included The Culpeper Citizen, a 16,000-free-crculation weekly launched in 2003 with business partner Charles P. Bowles III.

Mr. Emerson came to the community in 1983 as editor of The Fauquier Democrat, which later changed its name to The Fauquier Times.

Mrs. Emerson managed her family’s national technology conference, trade show and publishing business, based in Warrenton, before The Citizen’s launch.

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