GateHouse Media Buying Seven Journal Register Papers

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By: E&P Staff

GateHouse Media Inc. said Friday it has agreed to buy from Journal Register Co. for $70 million seven papers in southeastern Massachusetts, including the 20,932-circulation daily Fall River Herald News and the 9,437-circulation Taunton Daily Gazette.

Fairport, N.Y.-based GateHouse said it intends to fund the purchase price initially with cash on hand. GateHouse recently went public.

Included in the purchase are three weeklies and two shoppers in Fall River and Taunton.

“We are looking forward to completing this strategic addition to our local media portfolio and the accretive impact these assets will have on free cash flow per share,” GateHouse CEO Michael E. Reed said in a prepared statement.

He said the papers “fit extremely well with our existing base of Massachusetts-area publications,” and that the chain will realize cost savings and revenue generation as a result of clustering the papers.

The purchase is the second for GateHouse in less than a week. On Monday, it announced it had agreed to purchase the Daily Messenger of Canandaigua and 10 suburban weeklies around Rochester, N.Y., from the family of George Ewing Jr.

GateHouse, formerly Liberty Group Publications, has become one of the largest community newspaper publishers in the nation, with 415 papers in 18 states.

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