Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Thomson Sell-Off Continues

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Thomson Sell-Off Continues

Article excerpt

Media General, Copley Press are the latest buyers

With its possible purchase of five Thomson Corp. dailies, Media General Inc. will widen its Southeastern footprint while creating TV-newspaper combinations in three additional markets.

Like Tribune Co., with its acquisition of the Times Mirror Co., Media General hopes to gain greater advertising clout and operating efficiencies by eventually running Thomson's Alabama and South Carolina clusters with its TV stations that overlap with those markets.

The Richmond, Va.-based company agreed to pay $237 million for the papers, which include the Florence, S.C., Morning News and The Dothan (Ala.) Eagle. In all, they have a combined daily circulation topping 90,000.

The deal announced last Tuesday is part of Thomson's ongoing sale of all but one of its 55 U.S. and Canadian dailies.

Separately, San Diego-based Copley Press Inc. agreed to buy Thomson's The Repository in Canton, Ohio (with a daily circulation 63,711), for at least $183 million. Copley, which is privately held, declined to reveal the sale price.

Media General hopes to extend throughout the company its convergence strategy. The plan is already under way in Tampa, Fla. …

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