May 3, 2018

T&G parent spent $300K for Gardner News

WBJ File Photo
GateHouse Media's holdings in Central Mass. include three daily, five weeklies, one monthly magazine and now the Gardner News.

GateHouse Media, the New York-based owners of the Telegram & Gazette and a host of other daily and weekly newspapers in Massachusetts, spent $300,000 to purchase the Gardner News, new publicly available documents show.

The acquisition closed on March 31, according to a quarterly earnings report filed by New Media Investment group, GateHouse's parent company.

The purchase is the company's second of Central Massachusetts newspaper companies so far this year. The company in February acquired the Holden, MA Landmark Corp. - a group owned by GateHouse CEO Kirk Davis including Worcester Magazine and five community publications for $1.2 million.

No purchase price of the Gardner News was immediately disclosed when Davis reportedly announced the deal to employees, and the company had not released the purchase price until Thursday's earnings report.

The acquisition ends the long history of the Gardner News' independent ownership. The Bell family had owned the paper since 1963. Alberta Bell has been president of the company since 1992 after the death of her husband, Gordon Bell.

According to New Media's Thursday filing, the company has spent just over $1 billion on newspaper acquisitions since it emerged out of bankruptcy and became New Media Investment Group in 2013.

The company reported a net loss of about $700,000 on revenues of $163 million in the first quarter.

New Media reported total assets of $1.3 billion, including $67 million in cash.

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