Dow Jones To Sell Four Ottaway NewspapersDow Jones & Company announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell four of its Ottaway Newspapers, Inc. (Ottaway) properties to Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. (CNHI). The purchase price for the properties is approximately $182 million, in cash. The transaction is is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2002.
The properties to be sold are The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO; The Daily Independent, Ashland, KY; The Free Press, Mankato, MN; and The Herald, Sharon, PA. For the full year 2001, the four newspapers had combined revenues of $47 million and operating income of $12 million. Ottaway will continue to publish 15 daily and over 30 weekly newspapers in 10 states, with combined 2001 revenue of $301 million and daily circulation of about 444,000.
James H. Ottaway, senior vice president of Dow Jones and hairman and CEO of Ottaway Newspapers, added, "After a review of all Ottaway newspaper locations, we have decided to focus our future growth outside of these markets, and to pursue newspaper acquisitions in other regions of the country. I would like to thank the management and employees of these high quality papers for their dedicated service to the communities they serve, and their contribution to the success of Ottaway newspapers and Dow Jones. I wish them well with CNHI, one of the largest and best-managed community newspaper companies in the country."
Mike E. Reed, President and CEO of Community Newspaper Holdings, said, "We are very happy to add these outstanding newspapers to the CNHI family. We anticipate no changes to the daily operations of the newspapers and look forward to continuing the tradition of serving their communities and customers."
Dow Jones & Company publishes The Wall Street Journal and its international and online editions, Barron's magazine, Dow Jones Newswires, Dow Jones Indexes, and the Ottaway group of community newspapers. Community Newspaper Holding, Inc., a private company, formed in 1997 and headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, is the parent company for daily, weekly and semiweekly newspapers published in more than 200 communities throughout the United States.
Posted on February 22, 2002