GateHouse Scoops Up 20 Local Newspapers In $30M Schurz Communications Deal

New Media Investment Group, or GateHouse Media, announced an agreement this week to acquire 20 regional papers and several special publications across Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania and South Dakota from Schurz Communications, Inc. for $30 million.

The deal includes 10 daily newspapers, including college-town titles the South Bend Tribune in South Bend, IN and the Herald-Times in Bloomington, IN.

The 190-year-old Herald-Mail Media in Hagerstown, MD, is also being sold as part of the deal. In a story published earlier this week on its website, the outlet reported that three full-time employees would be laid off as part of the deal

Herald-Mail Media President Andy Bruns stated the sale to GateHouse will provide the title with plentiful resources across content and advertising solutions.

Schurz Communications is a fifth-generation family-owned business that made its name in newspaper publishing. The company has owned and operated papers such as The South Bend Tribune for 150 years.



The 10 dailies being sold to GateHouse have a combined daily circulation of 105,000, with a Sunday circulation of 94,000. It’s websites count on average more than 4 million unique monthly visitors.

Schurz Communications has been in the process of unloading much of its traditional media, including the sale of its TV and radio stations in 2015. The company is focused on technology, evident by its purchase of four broadband companies, with a fifth planned.

Michael E. Reed, New Media President-CEO, stated: “After nearly 150 years of ownership, we are honored the Schurz family has chosen us to steward these papers into the future. They have a long history of strong journalism and community impact, and we are excited to build upon their digital efforts with the introduction of our UpCurve products.”

GateHouse owns 145 daily news outlets and operates in 555 markets across 37 states. Its publications reach 22 million people weekly.

The Schurz deal is expected to close in Q1 2019.

Separately, Lee Enterprises has reached an agreement to purchase the print and digital assets of two Wisconsin publications.

The local news provider and platform for advertising will take control of the Kenosha News and the Lake Geneva Regional News from Kenosha-based United Communications Corp.

The Kenosha News is a daily with a circulation of 20,000, while the Lake Geneva Regional News is a weekly. The sale is expected to close tomorrow.

Gatehouse is not the only media company building a deep catalog of newspaper titles across the U.S.

Last week Alden-Global-Capital-owned Digital First Media attempted what seemed to be a hostile takeover of USA Today publisher Gannett. Since then, the New York Post reported Digital First Media is hinting that Gannett should take over its operations.

Digital First Media is famous for buying up local papers, slashing staff and resources, then running those outlets on a bare-bones budget helmed by a skeleton crew.
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