The sale of the Champaign (IL) News-Gazette and its related broadcast operations in central Illinois has closed following approvals from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and regulatory agencies.
The operations, owned by News-Gazette Media, were acquired by family-owned Champaign Multi Media Group LLC, an affiliate company of Community Media Group (CMG) headquartered in West Frankfort, Illinois.
Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented News-Gazette Media in the transaction.
The acquisition included the 23,000-circulation daily News-Gazette and three radio stations: WDWS, WHMS and WKIO serving the Champaign-Urbana, Danville and East Central Illinois areas. The acquisition also included weekly newspapers, free distribution shoppers and digital web sites located in Paxton, Gibson City, Rantoul, Piatt County and Vermilion County.
Champaign Multi Media Group named Paul Barrett executive vice president and publisher of the media operation.
“Champaign-Urbana is the most exciting market in the state of Illinois,” Barrett said. “With a thriving business community, first-class university and an undercurrent of entrepreneurial success, Champaign-Urbana will benefit from strong, innovative media leadership.”
CMG owns and operates community newspapers with digital web sites in several Midwestern states including Illinois, Indiana and Iowa, as well as papers in Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York. Larry J. Perrotto is chairman of CMG.
News-Gazette Media filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code in August. The News-Gazette was founded by David W. Stevick in 1919. News-Gazette Media had been owned by the Marajen Stevick Foundation.