Virginia-based Gannett Co. has become the owner of the Ventura County Star, the largest daily newspaper in the balkanized Tri-County media market.
Gannett took on the Star on April 8, when it acquired the 15 daily newspapers of the Journal Media Group. The deal closed one day after the Department of Justice gave the green light to the $280 million sale. Journal Media shareholders received $12.00 per share.
Including the Journal Media assets, Gannett, parent of USA Today, owns 107 dailies in 34 states and Guam. The deal comes after Gannett separated its newspaper and television operations in order to make more acquisitions in a newspaper industry that’s been hard hit by the shift in advertising to digital and mobile platforms.
Earlier E.W. Scripps, the longtime owner of the Star, merged with Journal Media, whose largest operation is the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“Today’s announcement marks an important milestone as we combine two award-winning media companies with a passion for delivering outstanding news and information, each focused on digital growth across all platforms and devices and being the market leaders in our communities,” said Robert Dickey, president and CEO of Gannett.
Also included in the sale to Gannett are the Record Searchlight in Redding and the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
The web site Echo Media reports the Star’s daily circulation at around 45,700 and its Sunday circulation at 58,600.
On March 21, Digital First Media, owner of the Los Angeles Daily News, acquired the Orange County Register and the Riverside Press-Enterprise after the Justice Department blocked a sale of those newspapers to Tribune Co., owner of the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union Tribune.
• Contact Henry Dubroff at [email protected]