Lee, Liberty to swap papers

By: Lucia Moses

Liberty Group Publishing plans to expand its western Illinois cluster with the purchase of two newspapers from Lee Enterprises.
Liberty has agreed to buy the Kewanee Star Courier, daily circulation 6,000, and the weekly Aledo Times Record, both in Illinois. The deal also includes a shopper in Geneseo, Ill., and The Ottumwa Courier in Iowa, daily circulation 18,000.
In exchange, Lee will get the Beatrice (Neb.) Daily Sun, circulation 8,200, and an undisclosed amount of cash. Lee anticipates a one-time gain from the sale.
Kenneth L. Serota, president and chief executive of Liberty, says The Ottumwa Courier will become Liberty’s biggest daily newspaper and provide a strategic entry into Iowa.
Lee president and ceo Richard D. Gottlieb says the trade will strengthen Lee’s position in Lincoln, Neb., where Lee owns the Lincoln Journal Star, and take advantage of a $30 million printing facility under construction at the Star, plus other operating efficiencies.
(Editor & Publisher WebSite:http:www.mediainfo.com) [Caption]
(copyright: Editor & Publisher September 4, 1999) [Caption]

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