The Times Publishing Co. has entered into an agreement to sell the Erie (Pa.) Times-News and GoErie.com to an entity controlled by New Media Investment Group. The transaction is subject to approval by the shareholders of Times Publishing Co., among other conditions.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, N.M. represented the Mead family, the owners of Times Publishing Co., in the sale. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. New Media expects to close the transaction in early 2016.
The Times Publishing Co. has been owned in part or in total by members of the Mead family since it was founded 127 years ago. New Media is the New York-based holding company of GateHouse Media, which controls 490 publications in 31 states.
The Erie Times-News, with circulation of approximately 40,000 daily and 55,000 on Sunday, serves the fourth largest city in Pennsylvania and other communities in the northwestern corner of the state.
“The Meads have been good stewards of this community institution,” said Ken Nelson, publisher of the Erie Times-News. “But the industry, and this newspaper, have evolved to the point where family-owned, independent newspapers face too many hurdles to survive long term without help.”
New Media offers new resources and economies of scale that will allow the institution to endure, Nelson said.
“Though the Mead family is leaving the newspaper business, the business will remain,” Nelson said. “We will continue to be the region’s dominant source for news for years to come.”