New Media buys ProJo for $46M, Belo retains headquarters

The A.H. Belo Corp. has agreed to sell the Providence Journal and its production facility for $46 million in cash to New Media Investment Group Inc., the parent company of GateHouse Media. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.


New Media buys ProJo for $46M, Belo retains headquarters

A.H. BELO has sold The Providence Journal to New Media Investment Group, the parent of GateHouse Media, for $46 million in cash. The deal includes the newspaper's Providence production facility but does not include the headquarters building, pictured above, which Belo will continue to market.
Posted 7/22/14

PROVIDENCE – The A.H. Belo Corp. has agreed to sell the Providence Journal and its production facility for $46 million in cash to New Media Investment Group Inc., the parent company of GateHouse Media, the publisher of The Standard Times of New Bedford, The Herald News of Fall River, the Taunton Daily Gazette and the Cape Cod Times, among 78 daily newspapers, 235 weekly newspapers and 344 websites. In total after the close of the deal, New Media will operate in 363 markets in 27 states.

The purchase does not include the Journal’s Fountain Street headquarters, the downtown parking lots and the former Rhode Island Monthly/Sunday inserting building, according to a news release from Belo, which the Dallas-based publisher is expected to lease to New Media for a year, and which Belo will continue to market for sale.

Belo Chairman, President and CEO James M. Moroney III thanked “our colleagues in Providence for their hard work and support as we have been privileged to own and operate The Providence Journal for the past 17 years.” The Journal was first published in 1829, making it one of the oldest print publications in the United States. According to the most recent audit, the Journal has weekday circulation of approximately 72,000 and Sunday circulation of roughly 96,000.

Michael E. Reed, New Media’s president and CEO, said in a release that “The Providence Journal is … the preeminent provider of local content to the greater Providence marketplace. … Its high quality editorial standards have resulted in four Pulitzer Prizes. … We deeply admire the great work that has been done in Providence under the stewardship of A.J. Belo and look forward to continuing that tradition.”

Reed said that within the last year the company has agreed to purchase “$151 million of local media assets [and] look forward to the second half of the year … focused on executing on our strategy which we believe will drive substantial shareholder returns.”

In discussing the purchase, Reed noted that the region’s nearly 30,000 small and medium-sized businesses provided a revenue opportunity. “With only about 25 percent of revenue coming from local print advertising, we believe this acquisition further evolves New Media’s revenue mix towards stable to growing revenue categories.”

The first-quarter report for Belo registered a 4.4 percent decline in advertising and marketing services revenue to $9.1 million, made up of 0.8 percent, 5.4 percent and 8.7 percent declines in display, classified and preprint revenue, respectively. Only digital advertising and marketing services revenue increased in the first three months of the year, by 0.9 percent to $1.3 million.

Circulation revenue at the Journal increased 4.7 percent in the period to $8.3 million, while printing and distribution revenue showed a 19.4 percent gain to $3.7 million.

The total revenue mix for the Journal increased 2.7 percent to $21.2 million for the quarter.

Belo has agreed to retain sponsorship of the defined benefit pension plan for Journal employees, according to a company release.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014.

In 2013, Boston Red Sox owner John W. Henry purchased the Boston Globe and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette for $70 million. Henry sold the Telegram & Gazette in June to the Halifax Media Group for an undisclosed amount.

PBN Hosted

Join PBN for the best networking event and party of the winter - January 15, 2015 - the Book of Lists Party at the Providence Public Library. Reserve your spot by December 31st and get a holiday gift from PBN!
  • Best Places to Work
    Enrollment is now open for the 7th annual Best Places to Work program. Winners w ...
  • Manufacturing Awards
    Applications are now being accepted for the 2nd Annual Manufacturing Awards. Dea ...
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
    Latest News