Journal Register Completes Sale of R.I. Papers

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Journal Register Co., a publisher of regional newspapers, announced Monday that it has completed an $8.3 million cash sale of three Rhode Island daily newspapers along with a weekly newspaper group.

The Call of Woonsocket, The Times of Pawtucket, the Kent County Daily Times and the Southern Rhode Island Newspaper Group were sold to RISN Operations Inc., which is registered in Delaware, according to state records.

Officials at Yardley, Pa.-based Journal Register said they planned to use proceeds from the sale to pay off debt and as working capital.

Monday’s closing price was larger than a previous estimate released more than a week ago because it included $700,000 in working capital, said Journal Register Treasurer Ricardo Venegas.

Venegas referred questions related to RISN, or Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers, to Roland McBride of Horizon Publications Inc. McBride did not return a message seeking comment Monday night. A telephone listing could not immediately be found for Melanie Radler, listed on state documents as RISN president.

Journal Register executives said last summer that they wanted to sell newspapers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island because of slower growth and because their company intends to focus on its more profitable online ventures.

The company recently announced it was selling its Massachusetts newspapers to GateHouse Media Inc. for $70 million in cash. That sale includes The Herald News of Fall River, the Taunton Daily Gazette and five smaller publications.

Shares of Journal Register increased 39 cents to $7.45 in trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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