CHATHAM, VA November 14, 2005 - Womack Publishing Company announced today it has agreed to sell its five newspapers in Colorado to Liberty Group Publishing Inc. of Northbrook, Illinois.
The sale, which is scheduled to close Nov. 15, includes the 5,000-circulation Telluride (CO) Daily Planet and companion weekly Norwood Post; the 3,550-circulation daily La Junta (CO) Tribune-Democrat and the Bent County Democrat and Fowler Tribune, two companion weeklies; and Valley Offset Printing, based in La Junta.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a newspaper merger-and-acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented Womack Publishing in the transaction.
Wendy Rodriguez will remain publisher of the Telluride Daily Planet and Norwood Post, and Ed Trainor will continue as publisher of the La Junta Tribune-Democrat, Bent County Democrat, and Fowler Tribune.
Womack purchased the Telluride and Norwood papers in 2001, and an affiliate, Colorado Newspapers Inc., acquired the La Junta, Bent County and Fowler papers in 2002.
Headquartered in Chatham, Virginia, Womack publishes 16 community newspapers in Virginia and North Carolina. The company has a web printing facility in both states. Womack also publishes telephone directories, real estate magazines, visitors’ guides and a number of other publications, and has a commercial printing operation in South Hill.
Womack Publishing Company president Diane C. White said Womack plans to focus on growth in its Virginia and North Carolina newspapers.
“We appreciate the dedicated employees at our Colorado papers and have enjoyed working with the communities there,” said White. “I know Liberty will continue to build on that relationship.”
Scott T. Champion, co-president and co-chief operating officer of Liberty, said, “We are delighted to add these publications to our growing portfolio of newspapers. We are excited to add Colorado to our list of states and expect to continue our growth through synergistic acquisitions in Colorado.”
Liberty Group Publishing, headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois, owns over 270 community newspapers in 15 states. The company is controlled by Fortress Investment Group LLC.