Sources: Town Topics Owners Seeking to Buy Princeton Packet


The owners of the Town Topics have made a bid to purchase the Princeton Packet, local business sources say.

An announcement could be made as early as this week regarding whether their bid has been successful.

The Town Topics is owned by developer and architect J. Robert Hillier and Lynn Adams Smith. In 2009, Hillier also bought Princeton Magazine.

Hillier runs an architecture and development firm based on Witherspoon Street. He has recently bought some properties in the Witherspoon neighborhood with a goal of redeveloping them. The Town Topics office is located on Witherspoon Street and so are the headquarters for The Princeton Packet.

Sources say Hillier and Adams Smith want to turn the Packet in to a Friday arts and entertainment newspaper.

Last November the publisher of The Packet, Jim Kilgore, announced his plans to retire and sell the paper. The Princeton Packet Inc., publishes 11 community newspapers, seven free newspapers, a monthly magazine and a series of local-news-based websites. The paper has been in the Kilgore family since 1955 when Jim Kilgore’s father, Barney Kilgore, bought his hometown paper and then expanded it. Barney Kilgore is credited for the success of the Wall Street Journal.

If the deal goes through, Hillier and his partner would control the major print publications in town and a major piece of property in the neighborhood would be added to  Hillier’s Witherspoon neighborhood portfolio.