Gannett completes acquisition of Belo, sells TV stations to Meredith Corporation

Times-Shamrock sells four alternative newspapers to Euclid Media

The New Year will begin with some newspaper and television properties in new ownership hands. Gannett yesterday announced that it had completed the acquisition of Belo Corp for $2.2 billion, which includes the assumption of $715 million in debt. The deal greatly expands Gannett’s foothold in broadcasting.

“We are thrilled to combine these two storied media companies, both of which are known for award-winning journalism, operational excellence and strong brand leadership. The completion of this transaction marks a significant milestone in Gannett’s ongoing transformation into a higher-margin and more highly diversified company in the rapidly evolving media business,” Gracia Martore, Gannett’s CEO, said in the company’s announcement.

Gannett also announced that it had sold KMOV-TV in St. Louis and KTVK-TV and KASW-TV in Phoenix to Meredith Corporation. The deal lowers the effective rate of the Belo acquisition and was part of the company’s agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

3277415839-1Meanwhile, Euclid Media of Twinsburg, Ohio has acquired the alternative weekly newspapers the Cleveland Scene, Orlando Weekly, San Antonio Current and Detroit Metro Times from Times-Shamrock. Euclid Media is a newly formed media company led by Andrew Zelman of Royal Chemical, along with the the publisher of Cleveland Scene, Chris Keating, and the publisher of San Antonio Current, Michael Wagner.

“I am excited about the opportunity to work with Chris and Michael and about the prospects of growing the business and serving our markets for a long time. These publications and websites all play a prominent role in the communities they serve and we are planning to continue that tradition,” Zelman is quoted in the press release from the M&A firm Dirks, Van Essen & Murray.

Times Shamrock is still looking to sell its four out-of-market daily newspapers the News-Item in Shamokin, The Daily Review in Towanda, The Progress Index in Petersburg Va., and the Virgin Islands Daily News.

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