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Tronc buys New York Daily News

Tronc has bought the New York Daily News. The deal was fi­nal­ized Sept. 3.

Tronc, headed by tech en­tre­pre­neur Michael Ferro, agreed to pay $1 for the pa­per, its web­site and other as­sets, and as­sume op­er­a­tional and pen­sion li­a­bil­i­ties amount­ing to more than $100 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the trans­ac­tion who asked not to be iden­ti­fied, Bloomberg re­ported.

The deal in­cludes own­er­ship of a print­ing fa­cil­ity in New Jersey. Since 1993, the tabloid had been in the hands of bil­lion­aire Mor­timer Zuck­er­man and busi­ness part­ner Fred Dras­ner. Dras­ner left the ven­ture in 2004.

The pa­per's circulation is around 200,000 daily and 260,000 Sun­day. It has about 800 em­ploy­ees and is not cur­rently turn­ing a profit.

The pa­per has won eleven Pulitzer Prizes. Its most fa­mous head­line came on Oct. 30, 1975: "Ford to City: Drop Dead."

The pa­per's ed­i­tor-in-chief is Arthur Browne, who has said he'll stay un­til the end of 2017 and also func­tion as pub­lisher.

Aspen Daily News sold

Act­ing pub­lisher David Cook and a group of in­vestors have bought the Aspen Daily News (Colorado), the pa­per re­ported.

Cook, the act­ing pub­lisher for the past three years and the pa­per’s gen­eral man­ager from 2003 to 2008, bought the pa­per with Spencer McKnight, who co-owns the lo­cal TV sta­tion Aspen 82 with Cook.

They got fi­nan­cial sup­port from lo­cal real es­tate bro­kers Craig Mor­ris, Ernie Fyr­wald and Ben Roos, of Aspen Snow­mass Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Realty.

The group, as the com­pany Paperbag Media, bought the Daily News from Dave Dan­forth, who founded it in 1978. The deal closed in late Au­gust for an undis­closed sum.

The sale in­cludes the pa­per’s print­ing press in Basalt. Dan­forth will keep own­er­ship of the Main Street space that houses the Daily News of­fices and will lease to the new own­er­ship group.

Cook told the pa­per he plans to in­vest in the pa­per’s digital ca­pa­bil­i­ties and do other up­grades. His in­vestors aren't in­ter­ested in tam­per­ing with the news side of the busi­ness, he told the pa­per.

Dan­forth now heads Aspen Jour­nal­ism, a non­profit fo­cused on long-form in­ves­tiga­tive work.

Aspen Times pub­lisher Sa­man­tha Johnston said Aspen is lucky to have two daily pa­pers.

“Ob­vi­ously we have al­ways had a good com­pet­i­tive re­la­tion­ship with the Daily News,” she said.

Hearst buys Illinois pa­pers

Hearst has ac­quired the Jour­nal-Courier ( Jack­sonville, Illinois) and its sis­ter pub­li­ca­tion, The Tele­graph of Al­ton, from Civ­i­tas Media of North Carolina, the Jour­nal-Courier re­ported.

Hearst Pres­i­dent and CEO Steven R. Swartz and Hearst News­pa­pers Pres­i­dent Mark Al­dam an­nounced the buy. The de­tails of the pur­chase were spelled out to as­so­ci­ates at both pub­li­ca­tions in late Au­gust.

The Jour­nal-Courier is the old­est con­tin­u­ously pub­lished news­pa­per in Illinois, ac­cord­ing to the pa­per. The news­pa­per and myjour­nal­courier.com cover Mor­gan, Brown, Cass, Greene, Pike, Schuyler and Scott coun­ties and parts of Ma­coupin and Sang­a­mon coun­ties.

The Tele­graph, founded in 1836, and thetele­graph.com cover Madi­son, Jersey, Ma­coupin, Cal­houn and Greene coun­ties in Illinois.

With the Illinois pa­pers, Hearst News­pa­pers has 24 dailies and 64 week­lies around the coun­try, in­clud­ing the Hous­ton Chron­i­cle and San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle.

Boone af­fil­i­ates pur­chase pa­pers

Af­fil­i­ates of Boone News­pa­pers have bought the Mid­dles­boro Daily News (Kentucky) and two neigh­bor­ing news­pa­pers from Civ­i­tas Media of North Carolina.

Non-dailies Har­lan En­ter­prise (Kentucky) and Clai­borne Progress (Tazewell, Ten­nessee) were in­cluded in the deal. Newly formed en­ti­ties owned by Car­pen­ter Newsmedia and man­aged by Boone News­pa­pers made the buy.

CNL is an af­fil­i­ate of BNI, with of­fices in Natchez, Mis­sis­sippi, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

“We are pleased and hon­ored to as­sume re­spon­si­bil­i­ties for these news­pa­pers and look for­ward to working with each staff mem­ber and community. We will work hard to meet ev­ery obli­ga­tion to each community served and to pro­duce news­pa­pers and web­sites each community can be proud of,” said Todd Car­pen­ter, BNI’s CEO and prin­ci­pal owner of CNL.

Bill Sharp will stay on as pub­lisher of the news­pa­pers and re­lated web­sites.

CNL has own­er­ship in BNI af­fil­i­ates in Kentucky, Mis­sis­sippi, Alabama, Ge­or­gia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Texas and Vir­ginia. BNI owns and man­ages 75 news­pa­pers in sim­i­lar-sized com­mu­ni­ties that, in ad­di­tion to those in which CNL has own­er­ship interest, are in Min­nesota, Michi­gan and Ohio.

Other Kentucky af­fil­i­ates of BNI and CNL are in Frank­fort, Danville, Winch­ester, Ni­cholasville and Stanford.

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