Halifax frees southeastern newspaper group


NewspaperFreedom Communications, a media company dealing with print and interactive properties, is spinning off its print holdings in the states of Florida and North Carolina. Halifax Media Group is the buyer.

“At Halifax Media Group, we believe in the future of newspapers,” said Michael Redding, CEO of Halifax Media Group. “The purchase of Freedom’s Florida and North Carolina properties further demonstrates our commitment to newspapers, not only for their value as an investment, but for the value they provide to the communities they serve. These properties provide a perfect extension to our recently acquired New York Times Regional Newspaper Group papers and reflect our interest in preserving community journalism for many years to come.”

Halifax is based in Daytona Beach FL, and owns 16 publications in six states. Terms of the current deal were not revealed. It is expected to close within about a month.

In Florida, the publications include:
* Holmes County Times-Advertiser, Bonifay, FL
* The Star, Port St. Joe, FL
* The Walton Sun, Santa Rosa Beach, FL
* Washington County News, Chipley, FL
* The Crestview News Bulletin, Crestview, FL
* The Destin Log, Destin, FL
* Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach, FL
* Santa Rosa Press Gazette and Santa Rosa Free Press, Milton, FL
* The News Herald, Panama City, FL

The North Carolina publications include:
* Times-News, Burlington, NC; Havelock News, Havelock, NC
* The Daily News, Jacksonville, NC
* Free Press, Kinston, NC
* The Gaston Gazette, Gastonia, NC
* Jones Post, Kinston, NC
* Sun Journal and The Shopper, New Bern, NC
* The Star, Shelby, NC
* The Topsail Advertiser, Surf City, NC.

 “At a time when the newspaper industry as a whole faces many challenges, local newspapers like these continue to thrive because they play such a critical role in the lives of their communities,” said Freedom CEO Mitch Stern. “It’s also a real tribute to the dedication and hard work of our employees that these properties were so attractive to a Freedom EVP/CFO Mark McEachen added that the deal benefits both current shareholders as well as employees of the sold properties, who were provided the opportunity to transition to the new owner.