Now in the News: NPG Completes Sale Of Regional Newspapers To Cherryroad Media

August 4, 2023

George Soros, Pierre Omidyar Fund Org That Now Controls Most Maine Newspapers

Several of Maine’s largest newspapers – formerly owned by Masthead Media Company – will now fall under the ownership of a nonprofit trust funded by left-wing billionaires George Soros, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, and a collection of like-minded progressives foundations and nonprofits.

The Portland Press Herald and its related daily papers were sold to the National Trust for Local News several months after former owner Reade Brower announced his intention to offload parts of his sprawling newspaper business.Neither Brower nor leadership of the Trust disclosed the purchase price. According to the Press Herald, the paper will be run under the Trust’s “Maine Trust for Local News”.

News of the sale led to intense speculation about the future of the media firm — both in terms of its operations and its ideological direction. Prior to Brower, some of the daily newspapers were owned by billionaire hedge fund tycoon

S. Donald Sussman, a prolific donor to Democrats in Maine and nationally. Sussman at the time was married to Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME-CD1).During that time, the papers’ reporting and editorial content was reliably left-wing and seldom criticized Rep. Pingree.That pattern mostly continued under Brower’s ownership.

Following Brower’s announcement that he was interested in selling the papers, former Press Herald columnist Bill Nemitz formed a nonprofit and solicited donations in a bid to takeover the paper.Nemitz’s effort, despite receiving statewide publicity, raised less than $70,000. That money was reportedly given to the Trust.

News Media Corporation Sells Colorado Cluster To Louie Mullen

News Media Corporation has sold its Colorado cluster of newspapers to Louie Mullen. The sale included Valley Courier daily in Alamosa, Monte Vista Journal, The Del Norte Prospector, The Conejos County Citizen, Center Post-Dispatch, The Mineral County Miner, The South Fork Times, and SLV Lifestyles.

John Cribb, of Cribb Cope & Potts represented the Tompkins family and News Media Corporation in the sale. Terms were not disclosed.

JJ Tompkins, CEO of News Media Corporation, said it was important his family’s company found the right person to whom to sell the Colorado newspapers. “After 30-plus years of my family being stewards of these newspapers, we are very pleased to pass the torch to Louie Mullen,” Tompkins said. “It was very important to me, that we transfer on the rich history and future of these fine publications to family ownership, who have the best interest of the readers and community.”

Mullen was thankful for the opportunity to continue the News Media Corporation and Tompkins family legacy in Colorado. “I would like to thank JJ and his family for this opportunity,” Mullen said. “Newspapers are a lifeblood for our communities. They are a reflection of their populations. I wouldn’t be able to work in this business, or make these transactions happen without the support of the town, right here.”

Local group publisher Keith Cerny, who is staying with the newspapers as they transition to new ownership, said: “It has been a pleasure working for News Media the past 35 years,” Cerny said. “Not many changes are expected with the new owner, and we plan to continue the best in local news coverage that readers of all of our publications have come to expect.”

The Tompkins family and News Media Corporation were represented by John Cribb of Cribb, Cope & Potts. CCP is a leading merger and acquisition firm with offices in Montana, California and Arkansas.

Gannett Increases Profit Outlook As Digital Revenue Grows

Both Gannett and Lee Enterprises reported digital growth in the most recent quarter as total revenue fell.

Gannett announced Thursday that for the second quarter in a row, it was raising its full year outlook for profit, cash flow and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization).

The company, which is the largest newspaper chain in the country, now expects to end 2023 with anywhere between a $10 million loss and $20 million profit. During the quarter ending June 30, Gannett saw its digital revenue grow as total revenue fell. It ended its second quarter with a $12.7 million loss — an improvement after last year, when it posted a disastrous $54 million loss that led to several rounds of layoffs and cuts.“We concluded the first half of 2023 with significant momentum, and as we enter the second half of the year, our optimism continues to grow,” CEO Mike Reed said during an earnings call with investors.

In response to the announcement that digital subscription revenue had grown, journalists at several of Gannett’s unionized newsrooms called on the company to share the wealth with its workers. Their statement comes just a few days after journalists mass emailed Gannett executives with personal stories about their struggles to survive on what they say are insufficient salaries.

“We bring information to our communities that no one else can, we fight corruption, we save businesses, we contribute to the changing of laws and lives as staples in our community that even our readers say they can’t live without,” Asbury Park Press food and dining reporter Gabriela L. Laracca said in a press release. “We deserve to be able to start families, we deserve to be able to pay bills, we deserve to be able to buy homes let alone afford our rent, and we deserve to not suffer.”

NPG Completes Sale Of Regional Newspapers To Cherryroad Media

Family-owned News-Press Gazette & Company announces that it has, after decades of local ownership, sold its newspapers located outside St. Joseph, Missouri, to the Parsippany, New Jersey, based company, CherryRoad Media. The sale, which did not include St. Joseph News-Press or NPG Printing, was finalized on Aug. 1.

The News-Press & Gazette Company, owned by members of the Bradley family, has a long history in newspapers, starting with Henry D. Bradley who purchased the St. Joseph News-Press & Gazette in 1951. The company, now in its fourth generation of family leadership, is led by David R. Bradley, Jr. as CEO and chairman of the company’s Board of Directors.

“It has been an honor for my family to serve these communities,” said Bradley. “We cherish the friendships we have created with our employees and partnerships with local businesses. It is because of our dedication to our communities and employees that we are so pleased that CherryRoad Media has acquired these important community newspapers. CherryRoad shares our values as well as a deep commitment to the future of community newspapers. It is heartening to know our papers are in very capable hands.”

CherryRoad Media, a division of parent company CherryRoad Technologies based in Parsippany, New Jersey, currently owns and operates 75 newspapers in 17 states and has been among the most acquisition-minded companies during the past two years. The company believes the newspaper is an essential resource for developing strong communities, and by using technology, it can supplement the printed newspaper with enhanced digital capabilities. “We’re especially pleased to welcome NPG’s dedicated associates and advertisers to the CherryRoad Media family,” said Jeremy Gulban CherryRoad Media CEO. “We look forward to helping strengthen local journalism through our understanding of technology, which is our goal everywhere we go. These operations, like so many in our industry, have struggled under the weight of disruption and a challenging economy. We are confident these newspapers can be strengthened through technology and made viable for the long run.”

“This transaction is bittersweet as our family has been in the newspaper business for over 72 years, however, we felt it was time to pass these amazing publications and employees to a new home,” David Bradley said. “We believe the new owners will continue the important mission of community journalism for years to come.”