News Corp. sells Dow Jones Local Media Group to PE firm, to be managed by GateHouse Media
The split off of the newspaper group at News Corp was supposed to signal a recommitment to newspapering. But today News Corp announced that it had sold its local newspaper group, which published under the name of Dow Jones Local Media Group, to Fortress Investment Group LLC.
Fortress Investment Group is a private equity group with about $54 billion in assets under management. GateHouse Media, which formerly was named Liberty Group Publishing, will manage the newspapers and is itself backed up a PE firm, Leonard Green & Partners which bought the newspapers from Hollinger.
Waller Capital Partners advised News Corp on the sale.
Dow Jones Local Media Group consists of the daily newspapers the Times Herald-Record (Middletown, N.Y.); Cape Cod Times (Hyannis, Mass.); The Record (Stockton, Calif.); The Standard-Times (New Bedford, Mass.); The Pocono Record (Stroudsburg, Penn.); The Herald (Portsmouth, N.H.); The Mail Tribune (Medford, Ore.), and The Daily Tidings (Ashland, Ore.).
“These newspapers share a strong tradition of service in their communities and a highly talented staff,” said Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp in the announcement. “We are confident that the papers will prosper under the new owners, but they were not strategically consistent with the emerging portfolio of the new News.”
Update: BloombergBusinessWeek adds more to the story in a post that discusses the bankruptcy of GateHouse Media and its recent investments in financially distressed properties.