March 13, 2015 Last Updated 2:50 pm

Journal Comm. and Scripps set share record date, March 25, merger still set for April 1

Really, no kidding, Journal Communications will take over the newspaper properties of E.W. Scripps, while Scripps get the broadcast properties on April 1 – April Fool’s Day. Meanwhile, the two companies set the date by which shareholders of each company will receive shares in Journal Media Group, the independent newspaper company created by the spin-offs – that will be March 25.

MJfront-300In one of the oddest media deals in some time, the publisher of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will now also own papers such as the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, The Commercial Appeal and Ventura County Star, while Scripps will pick up the broadcast properties of Journal Communications giving them control of some 35 TV stations round the country. They also will pick-up the pension obligations, which is why the deal made sense to Journal Communications (which will now be called Journal Media Group).

For those Scripps shareholders who don’t think owning shares of a newspaper company is really a great idea, the Scripps board also declared a $60 million special cash dividend for them, equalling about a $1 per share bonus to sooth their pain.

Stock details from today’s announcement:

  • Journal Communications’ class A and class B shareholders will receive 0.5176 Scripps class A common shares and 0.1950 shares in Journal Media Group for each Journal Communications share.
  • Scripps shareholders will receive 0.2500 shares in Journal Media Group for each Scripps class A common share and each Scripps common voting share.

Hey, it’s mergers and acquisitions, everyone wins! Except the employees, of course.

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