New Media Investment Group continues roll-up strategy, acquires two groups of papers for $15.3 million

Owner of GateHouse Media buys American Consolidated Media Southwest, plus two papers from Times-Shamrock

It took a year, but Times-Shamrock Communications finally found a buyer for The Progress-Index and The Colonial Voice – New Media Investment Group, the owner of GateHouse Media, the company that recently bought the Providence Journal.

Ten months ago TNM reported that Times Shamrock was looking to sell the properties located in Virginia as they lie outside core of papers in Pennsylvania.

“All of these papers have been strong, profitable investments for us for many years,” said George Lynett Jr., CEO of Times Shamrock Communications last year. “We have enjoyed operating in these diverse markets and the decision to sell was difficult. However, as we look to refocus and double-down on our efforts at home in Northeast Pa., it made sense for us to offer these more distant papers for sale to someone who could take them to the next level of growth.”

At the same time as New Media picked up the two Times-Shamrock papers, it also acquired American Consolidated Media Southwest, a group of five daily, nine weekly newspapers and four shoppers located I’m small-market communities in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. The price of both acquisitions was pegged at $15.3 million.

“To date we have purchased $105.3 million of local media assets. We look forward to the second half of the year as we continue to execute on our strategy and believe we have a great opportunity to create shareholder value,” New Media President and Chief Executive Officer, Michael E. Reed, said in the company’s announcement.

New Media is pursuing a classic roll-up strategy of buying up properties. Last year it took GateHouse Media into bankruptcy to shed nearly $1.2 billion in debt, and now it is back on a buying spree, while also engaging in a severe jobs cutting program.

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