MediaNews Group Merges With 21st Century Media, Ups Efficiencies

by , Dec 18, 2013, 5:34 PM
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MediaNews Group, which publishes newspapers including The Denver Post, Detroit News and San Jose Mercury News, is merging with 21st Century Media (former Journal Register Co.) and publisher of The New Haven Register, among other newspapers. The deal appears to be the final move in a long, rather complex corporate merger.
 
MediaNews Group and 21st Century Media are already corporate siblings, as both are controlled by Digital First Media, which in turn is owned by Alden Global Capital.

21st Century Media’s earlier incarnation, The Journal Register Co., created Digital First Media back in September 2011 to manage both itself and MediaNews Group, after Alden bought JRC and took a stake in MNG -- a step toward merging the companies that resulted in cost benefits, but left them technically independent.
 
In September 2012, JRC entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and initiated an auction process. Then in April of this year, Digital First Media sold the assets of JRC to 21st CMH Acquisition Co. -- another Alden company, which subsequently renamed it 21st Century Media.
 
Now MediaNews Group and 21st Century Media are formally merging in order to create more cost efficiencies, according to Digital First Media CEO John Paton, who has played a key role in aligning the companies and laying the groundwork for the merger. Paton will continue as CEO of the newly merged company, while Alden exec Bruce Schnelwar will serve as chairman.
 
According to The Denver Post, the merged company will have annual revenues of about $1.3 billion, making it one of the largest newspaper publishers in the U.S., comparable to McClatchy Co., publisher of The Miami Herald, which had revenues of around $1.23 billion in 2012.

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