Halifax Media buys 19 Freedom newspapers
Published: Friday, June 1, 2012 at 5:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 1, 2012 at 5:20 p.m.
Halifax Media Group has an agreement to buy the Florida and North Carolina newspapers of Freedom Communications, the companies announced Friday.
Halifax, based in Daytona Beach, owns The Gainesville Sun and the Ocala Star-Banner.
The Florida newspapers involved in the transaction are The Holmes County Times-Advertiser in Bonifay, The Star in Port St. Joe, The Walton Sun in Santa Rosa Beach, The Washington County News in Chipley, The Crestview News Bulletin, The Destin Log, Northwest Florida Daily News in Fort Walton Beach, The Santa Rosa Press Gazette and the Santa Rosa Free Press in Milton, and The News Herald in Panama City. The North Carolina papers are The Havelock News, The Daily News in Jacksonville, The Free Press in Kinston, The Gaston Gazette in Gastonia, The Jones Post in Kinston, The Sun Journal and The Shopper in New Bern, The Star in Shelby, and The Topsail Advertiser in Surf City.
The sale is expected to close within 30 days. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Halifax was founded in 2010 by an investment group that includes Stephens Capital Partners, JAARSSS Media and Redding Investments, which bought the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
In January, the company bought The New York Times' 16 regional newspapers in a $143 million deal that included the Gainesville and Ocala papers.
Halifax states that its strategy is to invest long-term capital in quality companies in strong markets that are closely connected to the community.
"At Halifax Media Group, we believe in the future of newspapers," CEO Michael Redding said in a news release.
All existing Freedom Communications employees will be offered employment, the companies said.
Freedom is based in Irvine, Calif., and owns the Orange County Register in Santa Ana, Calif, and about 20 other newspapers. Prior to Friday's announcement, it had sold about 10 newspapers and its broadcast operations over the last year, including four newspapers in the Midwest in a deal that closed Friday.