Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Selling a Weekly Isn't What It Was

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Selling a Weekly Isn't What It Was

Article excerpt

WITH A MARKER for weekly newspapers completely changed from only a few years ago, owners must start thinking of alternatives to an outright cash sale, broker Dane Claussen says.

Sadly, however, too few weekly paper owners are aware that the value of their paper has changed utterly, adds Claussen, president of American Newspaper Consultants in Athens, Ga.

"I talk to weekly newspaper owners who still think their newspaper will be easy to sell regardless of its location. And I talk to weekly newspaper owners who think they can sell their paper for gross revenues regardless of profitability," Claussen said at the recent National Newspaper Association convention in Nashville.

Both beliefs are untrue, Claussen says, and many characteristics of the new weekly newspaper market are working against the owner who wants to cash out now. Among them:

* Chains are no longer in the market for independently owned weeklies. Instead, they are buying weeklies from other chains.

* Dailies continue to buy weeklies - but only certain kinds.

* Fewer second- and third-generation family members want to take over the business.

* There has been "a significant decrease in middleaged, middle-income [journalists] from urban metros who want to become rural publishers. …

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