Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Gatehouse Media buys Pittsburg Morning Sun, Independence Examiner, Hannibal Courier-Post, 11 other dailies

GateHouse Media continues to add to its stable of newspapers, with the announcement today of the purchase of the Pittsburg Morning Sun, Independence Examiner, Hannibal Courier-Post and 11 other dailies from Morris Publishing Group, according to a news release issued by Morris. The news release said:

Morris Publishing Group announced today that it has signed a definitive asset purchase agreement to sell fourteen daily newspapers, three nondaily newspapers, a commercial printing operation and other related publications to GateHouse Media, Inc. ("GateHouse") for a purchase price of $115 million, subject to a working capital adjustment. Morris Publishing Group will utilize all of the net cash proceeds from the sale to pay down the debt outstanding under its bank credit agreement. The transaction is expected to close before the end of November and is subject to regulatory and Morris Publishing's lender approval and customary closing conditions.

The daily newspapers to be sold include the Dodge City (Kan.) Daily Globe, The Newton (Kan.) Kansan, The (Pittsburg, Kan.) Morning Sun, the Hillsdale (Mich.) Daily News, The Holland (Mich.) Sentinel, the Hannibal (Mo.) Courier- Post, The (Independence, Mo.) Examiner, The Grand Island (Neb.) Independent, the York (Neb.) News-Times, The Daily Ardmoreite (Okla.), The Shawnee (Okla.) News-Star, the Yankton (S.D.) Daily Press & Dakotan, The Oak Ridger (Tenn.), and the News Chief (Winter Haven, Fla.). The nondaily newspapers include La Estrella (Dodge City, Kan.) The Girard (Kan.) City Press and the Vermillion (S.D.) Plain Talk. The commercial printing operation is Flashes Publishing (Mich.), which also publishes The Holland Sentinel and the Flashes Shopping Guides (Mich.), related free nondaily community publications included in the sale.

Commenting on the sale, William S. Morris IV, Morris Publishing Group's chief executive officer and president, said, "While it is difficult to say goodbye, this sale is in line with our strategic plan to focus on our larger markets and will enable us to pay down our existing bank debt. We greatly appreciate the work by the employees of these great newspapers during the time they have been a part of Morris."

GateHouse Media owns The Carthage Press, Neosho Daily News, Neosho Post, Big Nickel, Greenfield Vedette, and Aurora Advertiser in southwest Missouri.


Anonymous said...

What a sad day for area journalism with the silencing of another indepedent voice.

Another once proud newspaper becomes another cog in the corporate machine headed inevitably toward ruin. Oh, true, Morris owned the Sun for years, but the affable southerners were kind masters and rarely cracked the whip. Who knows what lies on the tortuous road ahead.

It's clear that GateHouse is targeting the Joplin Globe. It could operate its monopolistic profit machine with cold efficiency if CNHI would step aside and let it consolidate its holdings.

Randy, keep this blog alive with media criticism and fight this modern day chain gang.

Anonymous said...

you're an idiot

Anonymous said...

While I'm not exactly stoked about GateHouse taking over my hometown paper (the Morning Scum), they probably can't do any worse than the louts running the show now...

Anonymous said...

wow..i didn't know randy was running the morning sun

Anonymous said...

I'd be in mourning if Gate House were buying up small, independent mom-and-pop papers, (I wonder how much they've offered Bob Foos) but in this case it's one chain buying papers from another chain, so I suspect little will change.

Sure, the papers will be expected to contribute generously to Gate House revenue since they need to keep their stockholders happy, and there may be some fat trimmed from some of the papers as they learn just what Mike Reed means by "synergy."

And I'm sure The Sun will roll out some of the standard Gate House products we've all come to know and love, like Game Night.

The best thing out of all this is that it will give the Southwest Missouri papers a neighboring printing facility (hopefully upgraded to fix the registration problems there at the Sun) and offer John Hacker a place to work if he ever gets tired of driving from Kansas to Missouri every day.