In direct contrast to its usual mode of operation, GateHouse Media announced today it would sell a West Virginia newspaper. The company, which has been buying newspapers right and left in recent months, filed the following news release with the Securities and Exchange Commission:
Fairport, New York. June 28, 2007—GateHouse Media, Inc. (NYSE: GHS) announced today that it has signed a definitive asset purchase agreement to sell The Herald-Dispatch and related publications which are located in Huntington, West Virginia, to Champion Industries, Inc. ("Champion") for a purchase price of $77 million. The transaction is expected to close before the end of August and is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.
Mike Reed, Chief Executive Officer of GateHouse Media, commented, "While we are constantly evaluating investment opportunities in the local media sector and continue to have a very strong pipeline of future opportunities, we did not see the Herald Dispatch as a good strategic or geographic fit and felt we could redeploy the capital more effectively elsewhere. It was always our intention when we recently acquired several properties from Gannett to dispose of the Huntington Herald Dispatch, and I am delighted to announce the sale of this venerable publication to Champion Industries, a company with a strong presence and history in the local market."
GateHouse owns The Carthage Press, Neosho Daily News, Neosho Post, Greenfield Vedette, and the Big Nickel in this area.