N.Y. Times Finalizes Deal to Sell Regional Newspapers

The company should net almost $150 million from selling 16 local papers

The New York Times Company agreed to sell its 16 regional newspapers to Halifax Media Holdings for $143 million on Tuesday, finalizing a deal that was widely reported last week.

The roster of newspapers being sold to the Florida-based company includes the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and the Santa Rosa Pres Democrat.

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“These news organizations have served as trusted institutions in their communities, delivering news and information that matter most to their readers,” Arthur Sulzberger Jr., publisher of the New York Times and chairman of The New York Times Company, said in a statement. “The sale of our Regional Media Group will enable The New York Times Company to continue our transformation to a digitally-focused, multiplatform media company.”

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That statements signals that while the Times Company sees opportunity for digital revenue growth at its flagship newspaper and in other holdings such the Boston Globe and International Herald Tribune, the future is murkier for smaller papers.

The corporate press release says the sale will close within a few weeks and that the money will be used for “general corporate purposes.”

In its last earnings report, the Times stated a profit of $15.7 million, but just one quarter before it reported $119.7 million in net losses. The upswing was attributed to an increasing number of digital subscribers and reduced costs.