The New York Times Company says it is in “advanced discussions” to sell its Regional Media Group to Halifax Media Holdings LLC. Halifax, backed by private equity, bought the Daytona Beach News-Journal last year.
If the deal being negotiated gets to the contract stage, which is likely, the sale will include 16 newspapers. The largest, based on circulation, is the Sarasota, FL, Herald-Tribune. The Regional Media Group also four other Florida newspapers – the Lakeland Ledger, Gainesville Sun, the Ocala Star-Banner, the Winter Haven News Chief – the Santa Rosa, CA Press-Democrat and North Bay Business News, the Petaluma, CA Argus-Courier, the Wilmington, NC Star News, the Hendersonville, NC Times-News, the Lexington, NC Dispatch, the Spartanburg, SC Herald-Journal, the Tuscaloosa, AL, News, the Gadsden, AL, Times, the Houma, LA, Courier and the Thibodaux, LA Daily Comet.
According to a report in the Herald-Tribune, the local papers have a Monday to Friday circulation of 433,251 and 1,755 full-time employees.
In a statement to Regional Media Group employees, president and COO Michael Golden said he expected the “vast majority” of employees to be offered employment through the new owner.