Announcements

GateHouse Media completes acquisition of the Akron Beacon Journal, sale of GateHouse Media Alaska Holdings assets

GateHouse Media recently announced that it has completed its acquisition of substantially all of the publishing and related assets of the Akron Beacon Journal from Black Press Ltd. for $16 million on May 11, 2018. In a separate transaction, Gatehouse has completed its sale of substantially all of the publishing and related assets of GateHouse Media Alaska Holdings Inc. to Black Press.

The Akron Beacon Journal has been the newspaper of record in Greater Akron for more than 175 years. It has a daily circulation of more than 68,000 and also offers the leading digital source of news for the local market, Ohio.com. It has received the Pulitzer Prize four times and annually receives many accolades for its journalism. Akron is located in northeast Ohio and is the fifth-largest city in the state and is the county seat of Summit County. It has a low cost of living and strong retail sales, with both per capita income and median home values higher than the state average.

Original release at New Media.

Tony Bernados named president of Augusta Chronicle, Chronicle Media

From an original story by Augusta Chronicle staff.

Tony Bernados was recently named the new president of The Augusta Chronicle and Chronicle Media.

“We are excited to have Tony return to Augusta to lead our diverse media portfolio. He brings experience, a deep commitment to community and is well suited to lead The Chronicle team as we evolve and transform our products and services,” said Mike Traynor, Gatehouse Media Georgia Group publisher. “In his new position, Tony will be responsible for all facets of the day-to-day operations of The Chronicle and its portfolio of assets.”

Bernados will start in his new position June 5.

“Tony knows this business and he knows this community,” said Chronicle publisher William S. Morris III. “He’s done a great job in the past and he is poised to be a strong leader for our future.”

Bernados, a 19-year veteran of the media industry, has spent the last two years as president and publisher of Gatehouse Media’s St. Augustine Florida Record and 12 years with Augusta-based Morris Communications in key advertising and revenue roles. Prior to joining Morris, Bernados held executive positions with Scripps Howard, Evening Post Publishing Company and Block Communications.

“Like many before me, I am committed to delivering quality local journalism across all platforms and providing top of the line marketing solutions to serve the needs of the community. To be part of a brand that has been reporting news and providing information for 233 years is both an honor and a privilege,” Bernados said. “I am extremely excited to return to the CSRA and serve a community that has been so good to me and my family over the years.”

In St. Augustine, Bernados has served as campaign chair for the United Way and is on the board of directors for the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce and St. Johns Volunteers. He also is a Flagler College School of Business Advisor and a member of the Rotary Club of St. Augustine.

Bernados and his wife Donna have three children: Ethan, Gavin and William J.

Read the original story here.

Paul Gaier named publisher of Peoria Journal Star

From an original story by Journal Star staff.

Paul Gaier was recently named the new president and publisher of the Peoria Journal Star and PJStar.com.

“I am excited to work with such a talented group of media professionals. Our focus will be to serve the greater Peoria community with an eye toward growing our franchise while working with local businesses to thrive,” said Gaier, who was previously publisher of the Rockford Register Star, which he will continue to oversee in his new role as president of GateHouse’s Illinois operation. GateHouse Media has 33 publications in Illinois, including 14 daily newspapers.

Gaier led the Rockford market for the past several years of growth. Under his leadership, the Register Star was named one of 10 newspapers that “Do It Right” by Editor & Publisher magazine in 2017. He has been with GateHouse Media since 2012, when he joined the Peoria Journal Star as director of advertising.

Gaier, who had roles with the United Way, the Economic Development Council and Leadership Council in Rockford, plans to be engaged in the Peoria community. “I want to play a role in helping to make Peoria a better place to live,” he said.

He said he is extremely committed to the Journal Star’s role as the community’s watchdog. “I grew up in the newspaper business and lived with it my whole life,” he said. “I’m committed to our role in supporting the First Amendment.”

Gaier is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and minor in marketing.

Read the original story here.

Vince Bodiford named publisher at The Daily Telegram

Original text by The Monroe News staff

Vince Bodiford

Vince Bodiford, president and publisher of The Monroe News, was recently named publisher of The Daily Telegram in Adrian, Michigan.

The Telegram, Lenawee County’s daily newspaper, and The Monroe News are owned by GateHouse Media.

“Vince is a strong leader and has heavy experience with involvement in the local community,” said Orestes Baez, group publisher and president of Gatehouse Media, Michigan. “He has owned and operated his own papers and will bring a fresh set of eyes to our Adrian property and products.”

The Adrian publisher position was restructured, allowing Bodiford the opportunity to lead both publications. Michigan has four publishers overseeing 10 print and digital properties across the state.

“This is a great team of people and, like them, I am committed to ensuring that The Daily Telegram is a strong community voice and partner,” Bodiford said.

Bodiford is married with two grown children and four grandchildren.

His interests include boating, the outdoors, antiques and fine art. He also is an auto enthusiast.

He joined The Monroe News in March 2017.

Read the original story here.

Akron Beacon Journal sold to GateHouse Media

The Akron Beacon Journal’s owner, Black Press Ltd., recently announced the sale of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Akron Beacon Journal and its Ohio.com website to GateHouse Media, which owns multiple publications in Ohio including The Columbus Dispatch and The Canton Repository. Sound Publishing Holdings Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Black Press Ltd., bought the Beacon Journal in 2006.

“We have provided stewardship of the Beacon Journal for the past 11 years and are extremely proud of the quality of journalism and the role the newspaper plays in the community,” said Rick O’Connor, president and CEO of Black Press. “However, the Beacon Journal is geographically located too far from our other publications for us to provide the kind of leadership the paper needs and community deserves.”

Black Press publishes 100 community publications in British Columbia and Alberta, and 63 daily and community publications in Washington, California and Hawaii. He said that Black Press officials, including owner and chairman David Black, who announced the sale, see the Beacon Journal as a perfect fit for New Media’s growing GateHouse Media Ohio group of publications.

Announcement of the sale comes the week before the Beacon Journal’s 179th anniversary. The first edition of the Summit Beacon appeared on April 15, 1839. It merged with the Akron Evening Journal on June 7, 1897, when the first edition of the Akron Beacon Journal rolled off the presses.

The Akron paper was owned by the Knight family for nearly seven decades starting in 1907, and then the Knight Ridder company beginning in 1974. That company sold the Beacon Journal to McClatchy Co. in 2006, which sold it that same year to Black Press of Surrey, British Columbia.

Legendary publisher John S. Knight, whose father, C.L. Knight, owned the paper before him, maintained an office at the Beacon Journal until June 16, 1981. On that day, John Knight found something in the paper he didn’t like and went to the newsroom to ask, “Who edits this newspaper?” He died later that day.

The Beacon won four Pulitzer Prizes between 1968 and 1994, including one in 1971 for its coverage of the May 4, 1970, shootings at Kent State University that resulted in four students being killed by Ohio National Guardsmen.

For more information, visit The Columbus Dispatch.

GateHouse Media partners with Triton Digital to enrich its online properties with on-demand audio

GateHouse Media LLC, one of the largest publishers of locally-based print and online media in the United States, recently announced a partnership with Triton Digital, the global technology and services leader to the digital audio industry. Through this partnership, GateHouse Media will utilize Triton Digital’s programmatic audio advertising marketplace, a2x, as well as its market-leading SSP, Yield-Op, to monetize curated collections of audio clips and podcasts across online properties. The partnership will provide advertisers through Triton’s a2x marketplace with access to GateHouse Media’s 43 million unique online visitors per month.

“Triton Digital’s intuitive technology, knowledgeable team, and unparalleled support makes them the perfect partner to power this innovative digital audio strategy,” said Rob Connelly, Director of Digital Audio at GateHouse Media. “The aggregation of local news, high school sports, division one sports, and political audio coverage into collections will provide our online audience with organized, easy-to-consume content, and advertisers with one-stop access to a highly-engaged, targeted, and community-focused audience.”

“The integration of digital audio into online news stories will undoubtedly provide a rich, unique, and increasingly engaging experience for consumers of that news,” said Stephanie Donovan, SVP, Publisher Development, North America, at Triton Digital. “We are proud to expand our support of GateHouse Media’s digital audio strategy, providing them with the tools and technology they need to seamlessly connect advertisers with this engaged and growing audience.”

In 2017, GateHouse Media reporters from across the country began curating audio content for embedding into its online news stories, including news actualities, recorded interviews, point of view soundbites, and podcasts from its star reporting talent. The infusion of audio content into online new stories has resulted in a more holistic and dynamic experience for local news consumers, and a unique opportunity for advertisers to reach this audience in a native, meaningful way.

ABOUT GATEHOUSE MEDIA LLC
GateHouse Media, headquartered in Pittsford, New York, is a wholly owned subsidiary of New Media Investment Group Inc., which is focused primarily on investing in a high-quality, diversified portfolio of local media assets and on growing existing advertising and digital marketing businesses. GateHouse Media is one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States as measured by its 142 daily publications. As of December 31, 2017, GateHouse operates in 565 markets across 38 states. GateHouse Media’s portfolio of products includes over 600 business and community publications and over 560 websites, serves approximately 215,000 business advertising accounts, and reaches 22 million people on a weekly basis. For more information regarding GateHouse Media, please visit www.gatehousemedia.com.

ABOUT TRITON DIGITAL
Triton Digital is the global technology and services leader to the digital audio and podcast industry. Operating in more than 40 countries, Triton Digital provides innovative technology that enables broadcasters, podcasters, and online music services to build their audience, maximize their revenue, and streamline their day-to-day operations. In addition, Triton Digital powers the global online audio industry with Webcast Metrics, the leading online audio measurement service that makes it easy for advertisers and brands to determine the best destination and time to reach their target audiences. Through unparalleled integrity, excellence, teamwork, and accountability, Triton Digital remains committed to connecting audio, audience, and advertisers to continuously fuel the growth of the global online industry. For more information, visit www.TritonDigital.com.

GateHouse Media announces agreement to acquire The Palm Beach Post, Palm Beach Daily News for $49.25 million

GateHouse Media, one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States as measured by number of publications, recently announced that it has agreed to acquire The Palm Beach Post and the Palm Beach Daily News, in addition to several niche publications and companion websites, from Cox Media Group LLC for $49.25 million.

The Palm Beach Post has been the leading source of local news and advertising in Palm Beach County and southern Martin County for more than 100 years. As the flagship daily newspaper, it has a daily circulation of nearly 80,000 and 102,000 on Sundays. Its sister publication, the Palm Beach Daily News, also known as The Shiny Sheet, has been published for 120 years, having been founded to serve the titans of the Gilded Age, who made Palm Beach the nation’s premier winter-resort destination. The Shiny Sheet is printed daily from October to May and twice weekly during the summer with daily circulation of more than 4,500. Both print publications maintain websites as well as e-editions and news apps for their readers. Across these mediums, more than 44 percent of adults in the market are reached.

“We are pleased to announce our second acquisition from the Cox Media Group which includes their two strong publications that serve Palm Beach and its surrounding area,” said Michael E. Reed, New Media Investment Group President and Chief Executive Officer. “We see Palm Beach as another attractive and growing market thatfits in well with our current Florida footprint. These papers have been the primary source of news in their respective communities for over 100 years and have created high digital engagement that we are excited to work to build upon with our UpCurve product offerings. We are looking forward to welcoming the Palm Beach employees to the New Media team and look forward to carrying on their legacy of strong local journalism.”

The transaction is expected close in the second quarter.

GateHouse Media announces acquisition of tech-enabled video and data business, Online Automotive Solutions

GateHouse Media, one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States as measured by number of publications, recently announced that it has acquired substantially all the assets of Online Automotive Solutions, a tech-enabled video, data and auto-focused inventory solutions provider, for $4 million. This acquisition expands the digital marketing services that UpCurve, GateHouse’s small business solutions provider, offers through its Auto vertical.

OAS, led by founder Jeff Urgo, has provided auto-focused marketing services to media companies and auto dealers, including Cars.com, Chicago Tribune Company, Vehix.com and Sun-Sentinel Publishing Company, for more than 10 years. Urgo joins UpCurve as Vice President of Sales for its GateHouse Auto division, effective immediately.

The OAS acquisition further enables GateHouse Auto to expand its offerings to the automotive industry by delivering best-in-class inventory marketing solutions along with its full suite of digital and print advertising products. The OAS platform creates digital video of specific vehicles and syndicates the content to the auto dealer’s website as well as major consumer-facing sites including Autotrader and Cars.com. Through targeted, data-driven campaigns, GateHouse Auto delivers a dealer’s brand and message into more than 80 percent of the moments influencing auto intenders on their journey to find a new vehicle.

“Online Automotive Services is a great addition to the solutions UpCurve’s GateHouse Auto division offers car dealers,” said Peter Newton, UpCurve’s CEO. “This platform is on the leading edge of the market shift away from photos to videos, which is becoming the standard consumer expectation in the auto space. Having Jeff’s vast experience with both automotive and media companies as well as his data-focused approach to inventory management, is very exciting for our company and our customers.”

GateHouse Media announces winners of national scholarship essay competition

GateHouse Media recently announced the six winners of its first-ever Scholarship Essay Competition for high school and undergraduate college students. The Grand Prize winner and three of five runners-up were from Massachusetts, while Texas and New York students were also runner-up winners.

Students were invited to write a 500-word essay on what one of four words — local, community, trusted and impact – means to them. These four words are featured in GateHouse Media’s current branding campaign which highlights the role GateHouse journalists and publications play in their local communities. Nearly 1,000 essays were submitted and the winners were chosen by a panel of judges comprised of GateHouse editors, led by Lisa Glowinski, director of the company’s More Content Now division, and college journalism professors.

The winners are:

Grand Prize Winner ($3,000 scholarship): Theresa Maylott, Littleton, Massachusetts

Runner-Up Winners ($1,000 scholarships):

Victoria Daros, North Salem, New York
Sydney Koo, Newton, Massachusetts
Thomas Snelson, Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Kylee Sutherland, Goldthwaite, Texas
Kasey Zaleski, Avon, Massachusetts

“When we asked students to write about local, community, trusted and impact, themes of our branding campaign, we knew we’d get some very thoughtful essays,” said Kirk Davis, CEO of GateHouse Media. “We were truly overwhelmed by both the quantity and quality of entries submitted. The students’ work speaks volumes about their love and appreciation for their communities.”

“I was encouraged by the quality of these submissions,” said Glowinski. “The entrants all seem to be accomplished, tenacious students who have big plans for the future of our communities. I’m proud to see GateHouse Media supporting creativity and education through this contest.”

GateHouse also ran an essay competition for staff members and their families. The winners of that competition were recently awarded $5,000 in scholarships.

New Media announces agreement to acquire Austin American-Statesman for $47.5 million

New Media Investment Group Inc., one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States as measured by number of publications, announced today that it has agreed to acquire the Austin American-Statesman and its niche publications and companion websites from Cox Media Group, LLC, for $47.5 million.

The Austin American-Statesman has been a trusted, award-winning media presence in Central Texas for more than 140 years. The newspaper has daily circulation of 85,000 and its companion websites average more than 13 million page views per month. It also publishes Austin360, the city’s premiere entertainment source, as well as several weekly niche community publications. Austin is a very attractive market, named the 2017 Best Place to Live in America by U.S. News and World Report, and is home to many major corporations such as Whole Foods, Dell and IBM. In addition, Austin has a thriving technology community. It is also home to several large community institutions, such as the University of Texas, South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, and, as the state capitol, hosts the Texas state legislature.

“New Media is very excited to add the Austin American-Statesman and its associated publications to our portfolio of local media assets,” said Michael E. Reed, New Media President and Chief Executive Officer. “In addition to being known for its strong and trusted journalism and having high digital engagement, the city of Austin is a very attractive market for our growing business offerings such as UpCurve and GateHouse Live. We look forward to working with Austin employees to further build upon their partnerships and carry on the strong local journalism they do in Austin.”

The transaction will be funded with cash on the balance sheet and will be immediately accretive to free cash flow. New Media expects the transaction to close early in the second quarter.

About New Media Investment Group Inc.

New Media supports small to mid-size communities by providing locally-focused print and digital content to its consumers and premier marketing and technology solutions to its small and medium business partners. The Company is one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States as measured by our 142 daily publications. As of December 31, 2017, New Media operates in over 565 markets across 38 states reaching over 22 million people on a weekly basis and serves approximately 215,000 business customers.

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