While big newspapers across the country fight for survival, small-markets papers are drawing new investment from industry veterans. Last month, for instance, Tennessee Valley Printing, a
family-owned publisher of smaller papers, agreed to buy a paper owned by the New York Times Co. in Florence, Ala. The price: about $12 million.
Earlier this year, newspaper executive
Michael Schroeder bought two Connecticut dailies and Pennsylvania publisher Richard Connor is close to acquiring a group of Maine papers, including the state's largest daily. The buyers' confidence
reflects the divide between big-city papers and relatively healthy small-city papers. Advertising revenue fell 3.6% last year for dailies with circulations under 100,000, compared to a nearly 17%
decline for the industry overall.
By missing out on the boom times, small-market papers never grew dependent on the money that has now dried up. "Classified advertising is still viable here," Schroeder says about his paper in New Britain, Conn. "We've got three solid pages of classifieds every day.