GateHouse Media parent New Media Investment Group is paying $280 million in cash for Halifax’s 36 newspapers. The deal will close early next year.
TO: GateHouse Media and LMG Employees
FROM: Kirk Davis, CEO, GateHouse Media LLC
RE: Halifax Media Asset Purchase Agreement Announcement
DATE: November 20, 2014
I’m pleased to announce that New Media Investment Group Inc., has reached an agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of Halifax Media Group. The sale is expected to close in early 2015.
The acquisition represents an exciting opportunity for GateHouse and LMG. The Halifax group includes 36 newspapers and affiliated websites, with a concentration in the southeast (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina). Also included is the Worcester Telegram and Gazette which strengthens our northeast presence.
If you are familiar with our footprint today, you’ll note that this is a major expansion into the southeast region of the country. From geographic diversification, to attractive demographics, strong regional economies and flourishing tourism, this acquisition brings tremendous benefits. Together, these publications will add total circulation of approximately 635K daily and 752K Sunday.
The properties bring an award‐winning heritage of strong, local reporting, including two recent Pulitzers. In 2012, The Tuscaloosa News (Tuscaloosa, AL) received a Pulitzer for its use of social media in breaking news coverage. The Sarasota Herald‐Tribune (Sarasota, FL), a Pulitzer finalist in 2008 and 2010, won in 2011 for an investigation into the state of home insurance in FL, with the series “Insurance Nightmare”. The Halifax papers are perennial top performers in regional, state and national news competitions.
On the business side, we’re confident that the opportunity we bring to grow their digital services revenue presents Propel Marketing, our digital services agency, with a wonderful expansion platform.
We look forward to welcoming the Halifax Media Group properties to our family!
The GateHouse CEO’s letter to Halifax Media employees is after the jump.
Date: November 20, 2014
From: Kirk Davis, CEO, GateHouse Media, LLC
To: Halifax Media Group
Re: Ownership Transition
As you’ve learned, a subsidiary of New Media Investment Group Inc., the parent company of GateHouse Media, LLC, has signed a purchase agreement to acquire substantially all the assets of Halifax Media Group.
As the CEO of GateHouse, I have the privilege of overseeing our company’s portfolio of properties throughout the country. While we don’t expect the sale to close until the first quarter of 2015, I wanted to share a few thoughts right away.
First, we’re incredibly excited to bring Halifax, one of the most attractive local media companies in the country, into New Media. We deeply respect and appreciate the care taken by your parent company to enable this ideal combination. Your reputation for journalistic excellence is inspiring to us; the Pulitzer Prize winning series in Tuscaloosa and Sarasota set a high bar. We also believe that the strength of your brands will support and add depth to our community publishing model. We look forward to partnering with you to leverage our respective strengths, so that together, we may continue our commitment to community news and service.
With this acquisition, we will operate newspapers and associated websites across 31 states in over 400 markets. We are committed to investing in our markets; recent research initiatives are informing changes to our local news products, both print and digital. We launched Propel Marketing, our fast growing digital marketing services agency, to provide a broader range of solutions for our small and mid-size business customers.
I’m certain you have many questions about benefits and the transition process; we will provide more information over the coming weeks. There is also much to share on programs and resources we can provide and collaborate on. Prior to completing the purchase, we expect to engage with your senior management team as we think about the transition and evaluate current priorities, trends and ideas.
We’re looking forward to working together!