WHO WILL BUY THOMSON PAPERS?

By: Staff reports

Speculation Focuses On Split Up



Thomson executives say they would prefer to sell their 54 dailies and
75 non-dailies as one unit, but it’s more likely that a range of
publishers will vie for the properties. Among Thomson’s largest U.S.
properties are the 99,000-circ Tribune of Mesa, Ariz., and 77,400-

circ Connecticut Post of Bridgeport. The Journal Register Co., which
publishes the New Haven Register , is a likely bidder for the
Bridgeport paper.



And both Tucson Citizen publisher Gannett Co. and Pulitzer Inc.
(which owns the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson and Arizona Daily Sun
in Flagstaff) are expected to make a play for the Mesa paper. ‘From
everything I’m able to determine, they’re well-run newspapers in
excellent markets,’ Pulitzer CEO Robert Woodworth says of Thomson. ‘I
would expect we’d take a look at it.’



Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. has also expressed interest in buying
some Thomson papers. Community has been focusing on internal growth for
the first half of this year, and CEO Mike Reed said he doesn’t want to
break that momentum.



‘I’m just not sure if it’s too early for us,’ Reed says. But the
temptation is there. ‘We’ve done some deals with them. They have very
good newspapers and very good people inside the organization.’



The company hired investment banker Goldman, Sachs and the Santa Fe,
N.M.-based newspaper broker Dirks, Van Essen & Associates to shop the
papers, which Thomson execs value at $1.3 billion. Thomson says it
would use the proceeds to reduce debt and expand electronic
enterprises.



Reported by Mediaweek ‘s Tony Case and E&P ‘s Lucia Moses


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Related stories:



THOMSON CORP. TO SELL NEWSPAPERS (02/15/00)

(http://www.editorandpublisher.com/ephome/news/newshtm/stories/021500n4.

htm)



THOMSON INTERACTIVE TO BE SOLD WITH PAPERS (02/15/00)

(http://www.editorandpublisher.com/ephome/news/newshtm/stories/021500n5.

htm)











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