Alden takes stake in Lee after BH Media news

“Hedge fund Alden Global Capital’s MNG Enterprises has taken a 5.9% stake in Lee Enterprises. The move came on the heels of the Jan. 29 announcement that Lee is buying Warren Buffett’s BH Media Group publications and The Buffalo News for $140 million in cash.

Various media watchers reacted to the news.

Nieman Lab Director Joshua Benton took a dim view of the news, while the NewsGuild’s Julia Reynolds provided info on MNG’s background, parts of which are “shrouded in secrecy,” claims Reynolds.”

Source: News and Tech, 2020 

Bradenton Herald drops Saturday print

“The Bradenton Herald (Florida) will stop printing and delivering a Saturday edition beginning Feb. 8. The paper will continue to publish a full Saturday e-edition.

Both the Friday and Sunday editions of the paper will get larger to accommodate the puzzles, comics and TV listings that would normally appear on Saturdays. Every obituary also will appear in a print edition, according to a posting from Marc R. Masferrer, president and editor of the Bradenton Herald.

McClatchy owns the paper. In its third quarter earnings report released in mid-November, McClatchy said it plans to cut Saturday editions of all of its 30 publications in 14 states by the end of 2020.”

Source: News and Tech, 2020 

McElvy Media affiliate buys Texas papers

“Coastal Bend Publishing, an affiliate of McElvy Media Group (Houston), is taking ownership of the Beeville Bee-Picayune (Texas) effective Feb. 1.

In addition to the Bee-Picayune, Coastal Bend Publishing is purchasing the other four papers owned by Beeville Publishing Company — The News of San Patricio, The Progress, The Advance-Guard Press and Karnes Countywide.

Brothers Jeff and Chip Latcham, who have 39 and 42 years, respectively, working in this family business, expanded the company during their years as co-publishers to include newspapers in Live Oak, McMullen, San Patricio, Karnes, Refugio and Goliad counties.

Gary Borders with Grimes, McGovern & Associates represented the sellers in the transaction.

“The Beeville newspaper is in its 125th year in the Atkins and Latcham family ownership,” said Jeff Latcham. “While Chip and I are the fourth-generation publishers, community journalism has fed five generations of the family. It’s been an honor and a blessing all these years to service our communities, but it’s time for new ownership, new ideas and new voices.”

McElvy Media began in 2012 with one community newspaper and eight employees. Today the company employs more than 100 people and publishes 25 print editions weekly.”

Source: News and Tech, 2020 

News Media Alliance spotlights the impact of local news

“The News Media Alliance has launched its News Impact Project, including a News Impact Index of local news stories that have made a positive impact on their local communities.

For the last several weeks, the organization has been gathering examples of impactful news stories its news organization members have recently published. From these stories, the News Media Alliance created the News Impact Index, with summaries and links to view the articles on the Alliance’s or publisher’s website.

The stories in the index offer real world examples of stories that had a positive impact and that members of the community would not have known about if it had not been for their local news publishers.

“The information we get from our local news is what allows us to engage in our communities and with our neighbors. But currently, local news is at risk of disappearing, with many local newspapers shutting down, creating news deserts across the country,” said David Chavern, News Media Alliance president and CEO. “The News Impact Project aims to raise awareness of the critical importance of local journalism. Our hope is that people will read these stories, understand the unique value local news publishers provide, and decide to support their local news organization.”

News organizations may submit stories for inclusion in the index through the Alliance website.

In addition, the Alliance is producing a tool kit, to be released this spring, for news organizations to use in their communities (for example, at meetings with government and community leaders and educators) to raise awareness and drive support for local news. The tool kit will contain talking points, impactful stories from the News Impact Index and blog, letter templates and other leave-behinds that reinforce the civic role journalism plays in their home communities and encourage support for local news.”

Source: News and Tech, 2020

Lee buying Berkshire Hathaway papers

“In a move that industry watchers could have seen coming, Iowa-based Lee Enterprises is buying Warren Buffett’s BH Media Group’s publications and The Buffalo News for $140 million in cash.

Lee has managed BHMG’s publications since July 2018 under a management agreement. Buffett has been pulling away from the industry for some time and has expressed doubts about the long-term viability of many operations.

In the deal, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, BH Media parent, is providing approximately $576 million in long-term financing to Lee at a 9 percent annual rate. The proceeds from the Berkshire financing will be used to pay for the acquisition, refinance Lee’s approximately $400 million of existing debt and provide enough cash on Lee’s balance sheet to allow for the ending of Lee’s revolving credit facility, Lee says. Subsequent to the deal closing, expected in March, Berkshire Hathaway will be Lee’s sole lender.”

Source: News and Tech, 2020