New Media Investment Group Acquires The Providence Journal, One of the Oldest U.S. Publications
NEW YORK—July 24, 2014—New Media Investment Group has reached an agreement to purchase The Providence Journal and related print and digital assets for $46 million in cash from A. H. Belo Corp. The Providence Journal is one of the oldest print publications in the United States and was first published in 1829. It has a daily circulation of approximately 72,000 and 96,000 on Sunday.
“We are pleased that New Media is purchasing The Providence Journal assets and we are confident that New Media will continue the great journalistic tradition of The Providence Journal,” said Jim Moroney, chairman, president and CEO of A. H. Belo. “We thank our colleagues in Providence for their hard work and support as we have been privileged to own and operate The Providence Journal for the past seventeen years.”
Michael Reed, New Media’s president and CEO also commented “We are very excited to announce the proposed transaction with A. H. Belo.” He said The Providence Journal is one of the most established and prominent newspapers in the United States and is the preeminent provider of local content to the greater Providence marketplace. In addition, its high-quality editorial standards have resulted in four Pulitzer Prizes for the newspaper. “We are very excited to welcome the paper, its employees and the community into the growing New Media family. We deeply admire the great work that has been done in Providence under the stewardship of A. H. Belo, and look forward to continuing that tradition.”
Reed continued “We are also enthusiastic about the opportunity to expand our digital services business, Propel, with this acquisition. There are approximately 28,000 small- and medium-sized businesses in the Providence market and the newspaper has a strong, in-market local sales force of approximately 40 representatives. Further, with only about 25 percent of revenue coming from local print advertising, he said, “we believe this acquisition further evolves New Media’s revenue mix towards stable to growing revenue categories.”
Over the past 10 months, New Media has entered into agreements to acquire approximately $151 million of local media assets at an average purchase price to EBITDA multiple of 3.3x. Reed remarked, “We are very excited about our progress year to date, and, as we look forward to the second half of the year, remain focused on executing on our strategy which we believe will drive substantial shareholder returns.”
New Media anticipates the deal will close in the third quarter of 2014 subject to customary closing conditions; however, there can be no assurance as to the timing or the occurrence of the closing.
Stephens Inc. served as exclusive financial advisor to A. H. Belo on the transaction.
About New Media Investment Group
New Media is focused primarily on investing in a high quality, diversified portfolio of local media assets, and on growing existing advertising and digital marketing businesses. The company is one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States as measured by number of daily publications. Including the announced acquisition, the company will operate in 363 markets across 27 states. Including the announced acquisition, New Media’s portfolio of products, which will include 451 community publications, 367 related Websites, and six yellow page directories, will serve more than 130,000 business advertising accounts and will reach over 12 million people on a weekly basis.
Source: New Media Investment Group.