Gannett Completes HomeTown Deal

By: E&P Staff After a review by the U.S. Department of Justice, Gannett announced today that it has completed the acquisition of HomeTown Communications Network, a company with community publications in Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Newspaper merger-and-acquisition firm Dirks, Van Essen & Murray of Santa Fe, N.M., represented HomeTown in the transaction.

Richard Aginian, the president and CEO of HomeTown, has been named president and publisher of the Observer & Eccentric and Mirror newspaper groups in suburban Detroit. He will also serve as a consultant to Gannett with the transition.

?We're excited the former HomeTown publications are officially joining Gannett,? said Gary Watson, president of Gannett's Newspaper Division, in a statement. ?And I'm even more pleased that Dick Aginian has agreed to stay on with Gannett. His experience and knowledge will be a great help with the transition and with running the two Detroit suburban newspaper groups.?

Phil Power, owner and chairman of HomeTown, issued this statement to staffers: ?After nearly 40 years, it's been a long run -- and a good one. ... [We] decided it was a good time to sell the business, move on to new things and find other ways to contribute to our state and our society.?

HomeTown includes one daily, 62 weekly and twice-weekly newspapers, and 24 telephone directories, among other specialty and niche publications. The newly acquired company will fall under Gannett's Newspaper Division.


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