After The New York Times Company said it was in advanced talks to sell off its Regional Media Group, it announced late Tuesday that it has agreed to sell 16 local papers to Halifax Media Holdings for $143 million in cash.
The papers span 6 states, including 5 in Florida, 3 in California, 3 in North Carolina, 1 in South Carolina, 2 in Alabama and 2 in Louisiana.
The New York Times Company says net after-tax proceeds will be in the $150 million range. If a prepared statement from Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. is to be taken at face value, then the sale price will go toward the company’s continued build-out of its digital platform. "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," he said in the announcement.
Halifax Media, located in Daytona Beach, Florida, is primarily backed by Little Rock, Arkansas-based Stephens Capital, as well as JAARSSS Media and Redding Investments, located in Destin and Daytona Beach, Florida, respectively.
The sale comes on the heels of the sudden announcement that The New York Times Company president and CEO Janet Robinson will retire at the end of 2011 after a 7-year run at the top spot.
The Regional Media Group accounted for about 11 percent of the Times Company’s $2.4 billion in revenue, according to the 2010 annual report. The $227 million in 2010 revenue for the group was down about 7 percent from 2009, which was down 23 percent from 2008.