By: Mark Fitzgerald
Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. (CNHI) said it sold 22 daily and non-daily papers in seven states to Heartland Publications LLC, a new publishing company headed by former Murphy McGinnis Media Inc. principal James M. McGinnis.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Dirks, Van Essen & Murray of Santa Fe, N.M., represented CNHI in structuring the transaction.
In a statement CNHI President and CEO Mike Reed said the papers were “no longer strategic” to the Birmingham, Ala.-based chain. Even after the sale, CNHI remains one of the biggest newspaper publishers in the United States, with 87 daily newspapers with combined circulation of nearly 950,000; 49 non-daily and 155 specialty publications in 20 states.
McGinnis said Heartland intended to continue the “long, successful tradition” of community publishing the papers represent: “We are delighted to launch Heartland with such a strong platform of fine community newspapers, and look forward to growing the company with additional strategic acquisitions.”
Backing Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.-based Heartland are Wachovia Capital Partners, the investing arm of Wachovia Corp.; and The Wicks Group of Companies, a New York-based private equity firm.
The acquisiton includes the following papers:
Georgia: Thomaston Times.
Kentucky: Harlan Daily Enterprise; The Hazard Herald; Grayson County News-Gazette; The Middlesboro Daily News; Floyd County Times; The News Democrat & Leader.
North Carolina: Apex Herald; The Sampson Independent; Bladen Journal; Fuquay-Varina Independent; Garner News; The Robesonian.
Ohio: Gallipolis Daily Tribune; The Daily Sentinel, Pomeroy; The Portsmouth Daily Times.
Oklahoma: Altus Times; Durant Daily Democrat; Frederick Leader.
Tennessee: Macon County Times; Clairborne Progress.
West Virginia: Point Pleasant Register.