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Marty Goodnight is returning to Springfield Business Journal as publisher with a plan to purchase the publication in 2026 from owner Jennifer Jackson. 
TAWNIE WILSON | SBJ
Marty Goodnight is returning to Springfield Business Journal as publisher with a plan to purchase the publication in 2026 from owner Jennifer Jackson. 

SBJ publisher to sell business 

Posted online

Springfield Business Journal will have a new publisher in 2024 in a move toward the sale of the business in 2026.  

Jennifer Jackson, SBJ’s owner, has been publisher since taking over that role from its founder and her mother, Dianne Elizabeth Osis, in 2011. On Jan. 1, 2024, Jackson will hand over the publisher role to Marty Goodnight, SBJ’s former associate publisher and currently director of marketing for Classy Llama Studios LLC, an e-commerce marketing, branding and consulting firm. 

Jackson has owned SBJ since Osis’ retirement in 2016. 

For two years, Jackson will continue to be sole owner of the publication and will also continue to serve as president of parent company SBJ Publishing Inc. According to the deal, in January 2026, ownership will be transferred to Goodnight. The pair declined to disclose the financial terms. The move is part of a succession plan put in motion by Jackson and developed over a year of near-weekly meetings between her and Goodnight to iron out details. 

“I have every intention of co-managing,” Jackson said. “I don’t feel that my role will be diminished in any way over the next two years, but my focus will change to helping create the business journal that Marty envisions – to help bring his vision to fruition.” 

Goodnight, who worked for SBJ from June 2016 to December 2020, said he grew to embrace the journal’s mission and its focus on local business. 

“I had the opportunity to work with Jennifer and launch new initiatives and lead the sales efforts, and in doing that, I fell in love with it,” he said. “I rediscovered the power of media when it’s unique and authoritative content and local – and that’s SBJ.” 

He said he first approached Jackson about his interest in owning the journal during that time.  

“I thought it was important to tell her,” Goodnight said. “She smiled, and she was like, ‘I love that in concept, but that’s probably not any time soon.’” 

After a few years with SBJ, Goodnight left to build his digital expertise at Classy Llama. 

“I was thinking about what’s next, and I really felt that I didn’t have as much of a grasp of digital and online as I needed,” he said. “I joined Classy Llama, which is a nationally recognized leader in e-commerce, and I’ve been there for three years, and I think that’s where it hit me again – what’s next?” 

He invited Jackson for coffee and told her again he would be interested, and to his surprise, she said the timing was perfect. 

“It’s rare that you run across an opportunity like the legacy that SBJ built over 44 years,” he said. “One of the things I love most about SBJ is our ability to impact someone else’s business in a positive way, whether that’s by an event where we make introductions, where people make connections, or they get information that they’re probably not going to get elsewhere about a decision that they could make about business. It’s a vital tool; it’s a tangible resource.” 

Jackson said she has been approached by interested buyers before, and they generally come from out of town. 

“In the course of those conversations, I recognize that they weren’t necessarily as interested in buying Springfield Business Journal as they were in buying our location and our audience,” she said. 

She said an outside buyer would likely look for efficiencies by running the business from another city. 

“I feel strongly – and my mother did, too – that we’re filling a need in this community, and as long as we do that, there will always be a place for us,” she said. “We’re hyper-local, so you can’t exactly do what we do from anywhere else.” 

Jackson said SBJ relies on local journalists to produce content and does not fill space with national wire services. 

“Business leaders depend on us to give them local information by which they make their most informed business decisions. Additionally, they depend on us to curate all the content that’s coming at them and helping them refine that to the news and information that’s important to local business,” she said. 

SBJ was founded in 1980 with a focus on reporting local and regional business news. Counting Goodnight, it has 17 employees. Jackson declined to disclose 2022 revenue. 

Read more about the SBJ ownership transition in the Dec. 25 print edition of SBJ. 

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