Fresh off a flurry of sales of newspapers in Texas and the Midwest, the Orange County Register's owner Freedom Communications reveals it has sold 20 more papers in Florida and North Carolina.
In a deal expected to close in 20 days, the papers are being acquired by Halifax Media Group of Daytona Beach, Fla., which has been snatching up fish wraps about as quickly as Irvine-based Freedom has been dumping them.
In fact, Halifax in December bought 16 regional papers from the New York Times Co. for $143 million, and combined with its previous holdings and the Freedom newspapers, Halifax is poised to be a major print media force in the Southeast.
Details of the Freedom sale were not disclosed, but a statement from Chief Operating Officer Mark McEachen (pinch hitting for CEO Mitch Stern) was:
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Providing value for our shareholders was a major goal of this transaction, and others that we've undertaken recently. At the same time, we wanted to make sure that current employees would transition to the new owner and that the new owner shared our view of the importance of community journalism.
Not a peep yet on what had been deemed a looming sale of the Register to the owner of the San Diego Union-Tribune.