Providence Journal-owner New Media Investment Group Inc. (NYSE: NEWM) is buying Stephens Media LLC for $102.5 million in cash.
Stephens Media, headquartered in Las Vegas, publishes eight daily newspapers, more than 65 weekly and niche publications and operates more than 50 websites. Combined, the news businesses' daily circulation stands at more than 200,000. (See below for a list of publications that are being acquired.)
New York-based New Media has been scooping up local media assets for a while. Earlier this year, the company paid $280 million for the Halifax Media Group, which published 36 newspapers in the southeastern U.S. In December, New Media announced a $5 million deal for Foster's Daily Democrat, a New Hampshire newspaper. New Media also closed a $46 million deal for the Providence Journal in September.
The company was formed out of GateHouse Media Inc.'s reorganization after GateHouse filed for bankruptcy protection in 2013. Before that, GateHouse had acquired the Dow Jones Local Media Group for $87 million, which included publications in New England and Oregon, such as The Cape Cod Times and The Standard Times.
Stephens Inc. acted as Stephens Media's financial adviser.
Other recent media deals include Tribune Publishing Co.'s (NYSE: TPUB) acquisition of 38 news brands in October, and the December 2013 merger of MediaNews Group and 21st Century Media (formerly the Journal Register Co., which went bankrupt for a second time in 2012).
Publications owned by Stephens Media:
Arkansas: The Booneville Democrat, Cabot Star-Herald, Carlisle Independent, Charleston Express, Fayetteville Free Weekly, Greenwood Democrat, Hot Springs Village Voice, Jacksonville Patriot, Lonoke Democrat, Maumelle Monitor, Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC, Paris Express, Pine Bluff Commercial, Press Argus Courier, Sherwood Voice, Southwest Times Record, the North Little Rock Times, Van Buren County Democrat, Washington Country Newspapers, Fort Smith Weeklies, Arkansas News Bureau and Central Arkansas Newspaper Group.
Iowa: The Ames Sun, Ames Tribune, Ames/Story Country Advertiser, Dallas County News, Nevada Journal, the Boone News Republication, Boone Co. Shopping News, Tri-County Times, Perry Chief Chiefland Shopper, Story County Sun and Story City Herald.
Nevada: The Las Vegas Review-Journal, Pahrump Valley Times, Tonopah Times-Bonanza and Boulder City Review.
Oklahoma: The Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise and the Pawhuska Journal-Capital.
Tennessee: The Daily Herald.
Texas: Anna-Melissa Tribune, Lake Texoma Life, Prosper Press, Sherman/Denison Herald Democrat, Van Alstyne Leader and Grayson County Shopper.
North Carolina: The Courier-Tribune.