New York : The New York Times Company has entered into an agreement to sell its Regional Media Group, consisting of 16 regional newspapers, other print publications and related businesses, to Halifax Media Holdings LLC for $143 million in cash, subject to certain adjustments.
The transaction is expected to close within a few weeks and upon completion of the sale, the Company will record an after-tax gain on the sale in the first quarter of 2012. The Company intends to use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes. The Company estimates the net after-tax proceeds from the sale will be approximately $150 million.
“These news organizations have served as trusted institutions in their communities, delivering news and information that matter most to their readers,” said Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman of The New York Times Company. “The sale of our Regional Media Group will enable The New York Times Company to continue our transformation to a digitally-focused, multiplatform media company.”
Under the Times Company’s stewardship, the newspapers within the Group have received three Pulitzer Prizes, including the 1971 Prize for editorials in The Gainesville Sun on the peaceful desegregation of Florida's schools, the 1997 Prize for spot news photography for The Press Democrat for a photograph of a firefighter rescuing a teenager from raging floodwaters and the 2011 Prize for investigative reporting for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s year-long series on the challenges that Florida’s property insurance industry have posed for ordinary citizens.
“The purchase of the Regional Media Group reflects Halifax Media’s belief that a good newspaper is an essential part of any vibrant community. The strong local news coverage these papers provide represents not only an important community service, but, in our eyes, a good investment,” said Michael Redding, chief executive officer of Halifax Media. “We have been impressed with the newspapers’ reputations as well as the markets they serve. When you have the opportunity to purchase solid news products located in great markets, it is very compelling, and we are excited to have the Group join Halifax Media.”
Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include national and local conditions, as well as competition, that could influence the levels (rate and volume) of retail, national and classified advertising and circulation generated by the various markets, material increases in newsprint prices and the development of digital businesses. They also include risk factors detailed from time to time in The New York Times Company's publicly filed documents, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 26, 2010. The New York Times Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
The Regional Media Group comprises the following publications:
Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Sarasota, Fla.;
The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, Calif.;
The Ledger in Lakeland, Fla.;
Star-News in Wilmington, N.C.;
Herald-Journal in Spartanburg, S.C.;
Star-Banner in Ocala, Fla.;
The Gainesville Sun in Gainesville, Fla.;
The Tuscaloosa News in Tuscaloosa, Ala.;
The Gadsden Times in Gadsden, Ala.;
The Courier in Houma, La.;
Times-News in Hendersonville, N.C.;
Daily Comet in Thibodaux, La.;
The Dispatch in Lexington, N.C.;
Petaluma Argus-Courier in Petaluma, Calif.;
News Chief in Winter Haven, Fla.; and
North Bay Business Journal in Santa Rosa, Calif.