Freedom Communications Announces Sale of Florida, North Carolina Properties to Halifax Media Group
IRVINE CA – June 1, 2012 – Freedom Communications today announced the sale of its properties in Florida and North Carolina to Halifax Media Group. The transaction, terms of which were not disclosed, is expected to close within 30 days.
The properties involved in the transaction include Holmes County Times-Advertiser, Bonifay, FL; Times-News, Burlington, NC; Havelock News, Havelock, NC; The Daily News, Jacksonville, NC; Free Press, Kinston, NC; The Star, Port St. Joe, FL; The Walton Sun, Santa Rosa Beach, FL; Washington County News, Chipley, FL; The Crestview News Bulletin, Crestview, FL; The Destin Log, Destin, FL; Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach, FL; The Gaston Gazette, Gastonia, NC; Jones Post, Kinston, NC; Santa Rosa Press Gazette and Santa Rosa Free Press, Milton, FL; Sun Journal and The Shopper, New Bern, NC; The News Herald, Panama City, FL; The Star, Shelby, NC; The Times, Apalachicola, FL and The Topsail Advertiser, Surf City, NC.
Halifax Media Group will offer employment to all existing employees.
“At a time when the newspaper industry as a whole faces many challenges, local newspapers like these continue to thrive because they play such a critical role in the lives of their communities,” said Freedom CEO Mitch Stern. “It’s also a real tribute to the dedication and hard work of our employees that these properties were so attractive to a new owner.”
“Providing value for our shareholders was a major goal of this transaction, and others that we’ve undertaken recently,” said Mark McEachen, Freedom Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. “At the same time we wanted to make sure that current employees would transition to the new owner and that the new owner shared our view of the importance of community journalism. We believe these goals were all met in this transaction with Halifax.”
“At Halifax Media Group, we believe in the future of newspapers,” said Michael Redding, CEO of Halifax Media Group. “ The purchase of Freedom’s Florida and North Carolina properties further demonstrates our commitment to newspapers, not only for their value as an investment, but for the value they provide to the communities they serve. These properties provide a perfect extension to our recently acquired New York Times Regional Newspaper Group papers and reflect our interest in preserving community journalism for many years to come.”
About Freedom Communications
Freedom Communications, headquartered in Irvine, Calif., is a national privately owned information and entertainment company of print publications and interactive businesses. The Company’s print portfolio includes approximately 100 publications, including 20 daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, plus ancillary magazines and other specialty publications. The Company’s news, information and entertainment websites and mobile applications complement its print properties. For more information, visit www.freedom.com.
About Halifax Media Group
Founded in 2010, Halifax Media is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla. The company’s investment group includes Stephens Capital Partners, JAARSSS Media, and Redding Investments. The group consists of 16 publications in six states, primarily situated in the Southeast. Halifax Media’s strategy is to invest long-term capital in quality companies positioned in strong markets that are closely connected to the community.