BH Media Group today announced that it will acquire The Press of Atlantic City from ABARTA, a private holding company based in Pittsburgh, Pa.  The Press of Atlantic City is a 67,000 daily and 77,000 Sunday circulation newspaper serving southern New Jersey.

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a newspaper merger and acquisition firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented ABARTA in the transaction.  The sale is expected to close in August.  Terms were not disclosed.  

The Press of Atlantic City is the leading provider of local news and information for its market area, which includes the counties of Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Ocean.  Additionally, the newspaper’s website, PressofAtlanticCity.com, which reaches 700,000 unique visitors each month, is the most popular site for local information in the market.  

The Press of Atlantic City has been owned by the Bitzer/Taylor family since 1951 and now joins a growing group of BH Media newspapers.  

Mark Blum, currently the publisher of the Morning News in Florence (SC), has been named publisher of The Press of Atlantic City and will assume that role when BH Media takes ownership.  Blum was controller for The Press of Atlantic City from 1989 to 1993. “I couldn’t be more excited about getting the opportunity to return to Atlantic City and work with such an outstanding team of employees at The Press of Atlantic City.The Press is one of New Jersey’s finest newspapers,and its digital presence is dominant.  All of us at BH Media are very excited to become associated with a newspaper and a community like The Press and South Jersey,” Blum said.   

“We’re delighted to have The Press of Atlantic City join our growing family of newspapers,” said Terry Kroeger, CEO of BH Media Group.  “We look forward to the opportunity to continue the tradition of community-minded journalism carried on by the Bitzer/Taylor family for over 50 years.  We also want to welcome the Atlantic City employees to our Company and are looking forward to working with them.  We are pleased to have Mark Blum, who has done a great job for us as publisher at the Morning News, take on this new role as Publisher of The Press of Atlantic City.”  

John Bitzer III, president and CEO of ABARTA said, “We are very pleased that BH Media will be the new owner of The Press.  Their sterling reputation for journalistic integrity and astute business management should be welcome by the market, and by the people at The Press.  The Bitzer/Taylor family is very proud of our long stewardship of The Press, and we wish BH Media every success as we turn the reins over to them.”                        

James W. Hopson, interim publisher, said “BH Media is not only acquiring a fine newspaper franchise, but also a great group of newspaper professionals who have shown a willingness to adapt to the challenges of newspapering in a quickly changing environment.  This is a transaction from which the buyer, the seller, the employees and the customers all benefit.”  

BH Media Group, headquarted in Omaha, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Company (NYSE: BRK.A and BRK.B).  BH Media Group now owns 30 daily newspapers and related weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida and New Jersey.  

For more information contact Owen Van Essen at Dirks, Van Essen & Murray at 505-820-2700 or owen@dirksvanessen.com.

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