GateHouse parent buys Halifax for $280M

GateHouse Media parent New Media Investment Group Inc. said it inked a deal to acquire Halifax Media Group’s 36 newspapers for $280.0 million in cash, subject to working capital adjustments. New Media intends to fund the acquisition with a combination of cash on the balance sheet and incremental debt under its existing term loan, the company said. The deal is expected to close in early 2015.

The deal comes just four months after GateHouse’s purchase of The Providence (R.I.) Journal for $46 million.

 Halifax Media was started in 2010 with the purchase of The Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal. In January 2012, Halifax acquired The New York Times Co.’s Regional Media Group newspapers in a $150-million deal that included 16 papers in California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama and Louisiana. Among them: the Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune, the Gainesville (Fla.) Sun, the Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News and the Courier in Houma, La.

In June 2012, Halifax purchased Freedom Communications’ newspaper properties in Florida and North Carolina, brining its newspaper holdings to 35 publications.

Finally in May, Halifax bought the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette from Red Sox owner John Henry.

GateHouse CEO Kirk Davis said the Halifax deal significantly increases its presence in the southeast.

“If you are familiar with our footprint today, you’ll note that this is a major expansion into the southeast region of the country,” he said in a memo to staff.

The Halifax publications add a total circulation of approximately 635,000 daily and 752,000 Sunday, according to the memo.

“From geographic diversification, to attractive demographics, strong regional economies and flourishing tourism, this acquisition brings tremendous benefits,” Davis said.


New York Times Signals More Newsroom Layoffs Are Imminent

The newsroom-wide email sent Thursday morning, obtained by Mother Jones, details responses to employee questions about a scheduled buyout program from Janet Elder, a deputy executive editor at the company. The email states that, “the most frequently asked question is about scale and whether or not there will be enough buyouts to avoid layoffs. Given that the buyout window is still open, it’s hard to have an absolute answer to that question just yet. Early efforts to handicap the outcome regrettably point to having to do some layoffs.”

The email says the buyout window for newsroom employees closes on December 1, 2014. Danielle Rhoades Ha, a director of communications at the New York Times Company, confirmed the email from Elder and said there would be no further information made public at present about the buyout program or layoffs.

The Times announced a plan in October to cut 100 newsroom jobs starting with a buyout program. Dean Baquet, the executive editor, wrote to staff then that layoffs were possible if not enough volunteers stepped forward: “We hope to meet this number through voluntary buyouts. But if we don’t get there we will be forced to do layoffs.​” At the end of October, the New York Times Company reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue, and projected a further slowdown in ad sales, according to Reuters.

The Times had some other bad news for employees who are considering taking a buy-out package: Certain perks are going away, including free access to MoMA. “We’ve been asked a lot of questions about everything from “Can I keep my laptop?”… to “Does my retiree ID card allow me free access to museums?” (Most of the museums we’ve asked have said yes except for MoMA.)”

Rhoades Ha added in response to Mother Jones: “The company supports certain cultural institutions and as a result, employees get discounted entry fees. It’s not part of anyone’s ’employment package.'”


Swift Printing & Communications Increases Production with MGI Meteor DP8700 S

Swift Printing & Communications has experienced continued success with their MGI Meteor DP8700 S.

Family owned and operated, Swift Printing is a solutions-driven printer that has been serving the Grand Rapids area for over 60 years. Founded by Walt Gutowski Sr. in 1950 as a local commercial printer, Swift Printing has become a world leader in digital technology by making innovation a top priority. With a commitment to top-notch service, the Swift Printing team is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art solutions to exceed their customers’ expectations.

Always staying ahead of the curve, Walt Gutowski Jr. began searching for a press that would complement his current line of offset and digital presses while maintaining the highest level of quality. After thorough research and testing, Swift Printing decided to invest in a Meteor DP8700 S with the help of Mid-State Litho, a MGI certified dealer.

“The MGI Meteor S is a great complement to what we currently have in place,” states Walt Gutowski Jr., owner of Swift Printing. “It is the only machine we can trust to do letterhead and envelopes that are 100 percent laser safe all the time. Not only can we do our day-to-day business more efficiently, we have also seen a huge increase in our business for short run four-color jobs because we now have the ability to run them on the fly.”

“We are blending our history and new technology together on our digital presses by mixing old heritage letterpress work and new age printing. The Meteor S fit our needs perfectly- with its outstanding quality and versatility we knew the Meteor S would be a seamless fit,” continued Gutowski. “We are proud of our history, our community, and our print shop. With our new capabilities we are confident that we will be able to keep our customers one step ahead.”


Printing Presses Cause Early Morning Fire at LTi Printing in Sturgis, MI

Two printing presses are believed to have caused a fire at LTi Printing at 518 N. Centerville Road in Sturgis, MI, according to Sturgis Journal.
The fire began around 5 a.m. and was discovered by employees who evacuated the business, which filled with smoke.
Firefighters were still on the scene at 8 a.m. but were able to contain the fire.