August 31, 2017 Last Updated 9:49 am

Hearst acquires Illinois newspapers from Civitas Media

The year has been busy for newspaper mergers and acquisitions in both the US and Canada, with TC Media having announced the sale of its Atlantic Canada properties, intention to sell Quebec and Ontario properties

This has already been a big year for media M&A, though one of biggest deals — the sale of Rodale — has yet to be finalized. The year has featured numerous small sales both in the US and Canada, where TC Media is selling its Quebec and Ontario newspapers.

Today, Hearst announced that it had acquired The Telegraph (Alton, Ill.) and Journal-Courier (Jacksonville, Ill.) from Civitas Media, LLC, the North Carolina publisher. Hearst will add the newspapers in Illinois to its property the Edwardsville Intelligencer.

Hearst isn’t one of the largest newspaper chains — Gannett and GateHouse Media have more properties — but Hearst is a buyer in this market, not a seller.

Here is Hearst’s announcement for its acquisition of The Telegraph and Journal-Courier.

NEW YORK, NY — August 31, 2017 – Hearst today announced that it has acquired The Telegraph and Journal-Courier from Civitas Media, LLC. The acquisition strengthens Hearst Newspapers’ commitment to covering news in Illinois communities, adding to the reporting done by the Edwardsville Intelligencer. The announcement was made by Hearst President and CEO Steven R. Swartz and Hearst Newspapers President Mark Aldam. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The TelegraphCivitas, headquartered in Davidson, North Carolina, is a portfolio company of Philadelphia-based private equity investment firm Versa Capital Management, LLC (“Versa”).

With the addition of the Illinois papers, the Hearst Newspapers stable of news properties includes 24 dailies and 64 weeklies across the U.S., in addition to one news magazine and several digital businesses.

“We are excited to strengthen our commitment to quality journalism in the local communities of southern Illinois,” Aldam said. “Combined with our Edwardsville Intelligencer media assets, the additions of The Telegraph and Journal-Courier will enable us to upgrade our enterprise reporting across the region while serving advertisers with the most comprehensive media solutions.”

Known as the oldest continuously published newspaper in Illinois, the Journal-Courier was founded in 1830 in Jacksonville. The Telegraph was established in 1836 in Alton, Illinois. Together, the newspapers have a circulation of more than 30,000 in the southwestern Illinois region. Hearst’s commitment to providing local news coverage in Illinois began with the 1979 acquisition of the Edwardsville Intelligencer.

Jeff Bergin, Hearst Newspapers vice president of vertical strategy development, will oversee business and news operations for the acquired properties.

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