BH Media Group Acquires Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star

BH Media Group has acquired The Free Lance-Star newspaper, and Print Innovators, all located in Fredericksburg, Va., from Sandton Capital Partners.

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, N.M., represented Sandton Capital Partners in the sale. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Free Lance-Star is a 31,700-circulation daily newspaper that serves Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Stafford, King George, Caroline, Orange, Culpeper, Westmoreland, Fauquier and Louisa. Print Innovators is a regional/national commercial printing operation that prints The Free Lance-Star and a number of other publications in the region.

Sandton Capital Partners acquired the assets during bankruptcy proceedings in June 2014.

The Free Lance-Star
and its predecessors have served the Fredericksburg area since 1885. The newspaper, along with its recently redesigned website, won best-in-class journalism honors in a 2015 statewide contest.

Print Innovators opened as a production facility in 2010. The flexible presses in Fredericksburg will allow BH Media Group to pursue various printing contracts.

“We are pleased to see FLS transitioning to such a well-respected, strategic operator in the community newspaper space. The employees of FLS, and the community it serves, will be beneficiaries of BH Media’s stewardship for many years to come,” said Rob Orr, managing director at Sandton Capital Partners. “We are very appreciative of the efforts of the team at FLS and Print Innovators and their continuous drive to serve their community. In particular, we want to thank our CEO, Gene Carr. We brought Gene in at a difficult time, when the company was just emerging from bankruptcy. Gene’s steady guiding hand has been critical to the impressive turnaround at FLS.”

The Free Lance-Star is a strong newspaper in a terrific market, and we’re delighted to be its new owner,” said Terry Kroeger, CEO of BH Media Group. “We welcome the employees of the Free Lance-Star and Print Innovators to BH Media Group, and we look forward to working with them as we continue to serve our readers and advertisers in the Fredericksburg region.”

BH Media Group, headquartered in Omaha, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Co. BH Media Group now owns 32 daily newspapers and related weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida and New Jersey.

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