While many of Sun Coast Media Group's newspapers were created before SCMG was even formed,
Derek Dunn-Rankin was the man who bought a number of newspapers and created more to form
SCMG and make it into a regional, family-owned chain of newspapers, magazines, shoppers and more.
With a vast experience working for many newspapers, Dunn-Rankin purchased the Venice Gondolier in
1976 and started his newspaper empire from there.
He was a big believer in community journalism and bought or created newspapers on the belief that
each one would cover a specific community or a set of communities. After the Venice Gondolier was
purchased, he bought another paper and turned that one into the Charlotte Sun. Then there was the
Punta Gorda Herald, the North Port Sun and the Englewood Sun.
Some of the names have changed but his initial ideals of providing local coverage remains to this day.
Giving people local news they cannot get anywhere else is at the heart of Sun Coast Media Group.
In the mid-1990s, Microsoft had announced that with something called the World Wide Web gaining
prominence, the software company was going to put all homes for sale on the World Wide Web, with
Charlotte County being the test county.
That prompted Dunn-Rankin to say he would create a Website and have all the Charlotte County homes
for sale online within six months. And he did just that. In fact, he did much better, with the newspaper's
Website being named the best in the country two years in a row by the Newspaper Association of
America and Editor Publisher.
Dunn-Rankin also became one of the first to create products for the Internet that could be “reverse-
published” for a print product. The first example of that was Waterline, which exists to this day.
The newspaper won its first Pulitzer Prize on April 18, 2016 for a series of editorials on the deaths and
bad conditions at the Charlotte Correctional Institution. But that was a bittersweet day. That was
because the day before, Derek Dunn-Rankin, 88 passed away.
His son, David Dunn-Rankin, took over as CEO of Sun Coast Media Group and continued the tradition
of focusing on local journalism.
In mid-2018, Sun Coast Media Group and most of its newspapers, magazines and shoppers were sold
to another family-owned company, Adams Publishing Group. With the purchase, Adams Publishing
Group started a Florida division, with company officials saying the newspaper's focus will continue to
be local journalism and providing a way for local businesses to attract customers.