June 1, 2015

Gannett acquires several NM papers

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Photo Credit: Marion Doss cc

A handful newspapers in New Mexico and Texas, including the Las Cruces Sun-News and the Farmington Daily Times, will now be run by Gannett.

Photo Credit: Marion Doss cc

Photo Credit: Marion Doss cc

The Sun-News reported on the sale, which includes seven newspapers in New Mexico, one in Texas and four in Pennsylvania. The newspapers were previously operated by Digital First Media, with Gannett holding a minority stake.

“We are very pleased to welcome these well-respected media organizations to U.S. Community Publishing as we further our efforts to expand our reach as the best local media company in America for consumers and businesses,” Robert Dickey, president of U.S. Community Publishing and CEO-designate of Gannett “SpinCo,” said in a statement.

Gannett runs dozens of newspapers throughout the country, including the USA TodayUSA Today is the third-largest newspaper by circulation.

The release included some details on the sale.

Gannett Co., Inc. today announced that it has completed the acquisition of the remaining 59.36% interest in the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership that it did not own from Digital First Media. The deal was completed through the assignment of Gannett’s 19.49% interest in the California Newspapers Partnership and additional cash consideration. As a result, Gannett will own 100% of the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership and will no longer have any ownership interest in California Newspapers Partnership.

The new ownership is the second change in recent years for the papers, known as the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership. In 2013, Digital First Media purchased the papers from MediaNews Group. Gannett owned a minority stake under both owners.

The move comes just weeks after Gannett announced the digital and broadcasting elements would be spun off into its own company, known as Tegna. With the purchase of the 12 newspapers, Gannett now operates over 90 newspapers throughout the country.

Digital First Media had previously sought to sell the entire company. The sale went as far as announcing a buyer, but then the company decided not to sell. The company was slated to sell the newspapers to Apollo Global Management, a private equity company. There were fears that some of the smaller properties would be closed under that sale.

Nieman Labs had previously reported that an acquisition by Gannett was imminent.

The other New Mexico newspapers included in the acquisition are the Alamogordo Daily News, the Carlsbad Current-Argus, the Deming Headlight and the Silver City Sun-News. The El Paso Times is also part of the media partnership.

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