Shaw Media to Purchase Record Newspapers, Inc.

Shaw Media, based in Dixon, Illinois, announced today that it is purchasing Record Newspapers, Inc. from Jeff and Kathy Farren. Based in Yorkville, The Record Newspapers include the Kendall County Record in Yorkville, the Ledger-Sentinel in Oswego, the Plano Record and the Sandwich Record, as well as affiliated websites.
“We are proud to welcome The Record Newspapers to our growing portfolio of family-owned, community-focused media operations,” Shaw Media President John Rung said. “We look forward to continuing the Farrens’ tradition of quality local journalism, while expanding the Ledger-Sentinel’s and Record’s presence through digital formats.”
The transaction is expected to close June 26.
“We have always worked hard to provide extensive local news coverage of our communities. So we are pleased with Shaw Media’s commitment to continue that level of coverage for our readers,” Kathy Farren, Record editor, said.
Founded in 1864, the Kendall County Record was purchased by the Farrens in 1973. The Farrens founded the Plano Record in 1976. They acquired the Oswego Ledger in 1979 and the Fox Valley Sentinel in 1980. The two papers were consolidated and called the Ledger-Sentinel. The Sandwich Record was launched by the Farrens in 1985.
“The decision to sell was a difficult one,” publisher Jeff Farren said, but he added, “We believe Shaw will be able to continue providing good newspapers for our readers and advertisers with more online content in the future.”

Columbus Dispatch sale finalized; sold for $1M more than Providence Journal

It’s official. The Columbus Dispatch no longer is owned by the Wolfe family.
New Media Investment Group Inc. (NYSE:NEWM) and its subsidiary, GateHouse Media LLC, closed the deal that was announced June 3 to acquire the newspaper, its magazines, weekly newspapers and three buildings.

The sale price was $47 million, or $1 million more than what New Media spent on the Providence Journal. That paper has a Sunday circulation of 96,248. The Dispatch’s Sunday circulation is 221,548.

New York-based New Media announced the deal’s close Monday afternoon. Kirk Davis, the CEO of GateHouse, talked to employees late Monday afternoon and toured facilities.

One of the next decisions will be who replaces  John F. Wolfe as the paper’s publisher. The Las Vegas Review-Journal, the second-biggest paper in New Media’s portfolio and a recent acquisition, last week hired a veteran from Gannett Company Inc. (NYSE:GCI), one of the biggest newspaper chains in the country.

An interim publisher will be named within two weeks, according to an employee at the meeting, while the company searches for a permanent successor to Wolfe. That decision should be made within four months.

Mike Reed, New Media’s CEO, briefed the staff after the deal’s announcement two weeks ago.

Taylor Corp. Snaps Up Standard Register for $307 Million

 A bankruptcy court judge has approved Taylor Corp.’s $307 million-plus bid for Dayton, Ohio-based Standard Register, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. The auction bid topped a proposed $275 million deal by Connecticut hedge fund and Standard Register shareholder Silver Point Capital.

Standard Register employs 3,700 workers at 34 facilities throughout the United States and Mexico. Deb Taylor, CEO of Taylor Corp., told the newspaper that her company plans to add Standard Register’s employees to its workforce. No mention was made of whether any facilities would be consolidated or negatively impacted.

“While Standard Register has encountered financial challenges, I have no doubt its best days are ahead,” Deb Taylor told the newspaper. “Together, we’ll have the scale and talent we need to pursue new market opportunities through a broader range of technology offerings, products and services.”

Billionaire Glen Taylor, founder of the commercial printing firm that bears his name and owner of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, seemingly came out of nowhere when he filed at the eleventh hour to take part in Monday’s bankruptcy sale of Standard Register.

Standard Register, which filed for Chapter 11 last March, seemingly had its suitor in Silver Point Capital, as the sides had agreed to a $275 million purchase. The Tribune, citing court filings, wrote that Taylor Corp. subsequently negotiated a deal with Silver Point to pay $2 million over its bid.

The deal is expected to close within 60 days, pending the resolution of objections by creditors, along with the settlement of complaints filed against Silver Point by Standard Register’s official creditors committee, theDayton Daily News reported. One of the complaints leveled by the committee, comprised of unsecured creditors, is that Silver Point (already a substantial shareholder in Standard Register) effectively “chilled the sale process” in keeping other potential buyers away during the bidding, the newspaper said.

Standard Register specializes in printed forms and communications services for verticals including health care, financial services and industrial markets. Taylor Corp., which has 80 plants and 9,000 employees globally, crosses over with health care and financial clients, as well as automotive, insurance and retail customers.

In a separate deal, Taylor Corp. also picked up the assets of Salem, New Hampshire-based NEPS LLC, which services the insurance, finance, health care and automotive spaces.

“As we met with the management team at Taylor and learned more about the breadth of the organization, we saw genuine opportunity and value in being part of this family of companies,” notes Denise Miano, founder and president of NEPS. “We are looking forward to being part of this team and are already seeing some of the benefits to our company.”