DULUTH, MN, January 9, 2004 - The owners of Murphy McGinnis Media, Inc., announced today they have sold the company consisting of 17 newspapers with total circulation of nearly 300,000, in northern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin to Superior Publishing, Inc., an affiliate of investment firm MCG Capital Corporation. No terms of the transaction, which was effective Dec. 31, 2003, were announced.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a newspaper merger-and-acquisition firm located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented Murphy McGinnis Media, Inc., in the transaction.
Murphy McGinnis owners, John B. Murphy, Elizabeth Murphy Burns, James M. McGinnis and Charles R. Johnson, formed Murphy McGinnis Media in 1996. Johnson has been named president and CEO of the new company. He served as executive vice president of Murphy McGinnis Media. McGinnis will remain a director of the company and will also pursue other interests in the community newspaper industry through his other company, McGinnis Communications, Inc., in Florida.
“We are excited to acquire such an outstanding company,” said B. Hagen Saville, executive vice president of MCG Capital. “We look forward to continuing the fine tradition of service to the Northland communities that Murphy McGinnis Media has long been known for.”
Murphy, chairman of Murphy McGinnis Media, said, “Being a third generation publisher, I was given the opportunity to carry on the tradition that my grandfather started and parents continued. The Murphy family has a long history of being loyal to and supportive of Superior. The decision to sell was not easy, but being retired for three years, and having no one in our family with an interest in being active in the newspaper part of our business, it seemed like a good time to explore other opportunities. The Daily Telegram and all of Murphy McGinnis Media have a great group of employees. I am confident they will continue to serve their respective communities in a professional and supportive manner.”
Murphy Newspapers was founded in 1890 when Murphy’s grandfather purchased The Superior Telegram, now the Superior Daily Telegram. Murphy Burns will continue to run the broadcast side of the media business of the Evening Telegram Company.
“Though it was a very emotional decision, with John retired and my energies directed toward the television, radio and cable production companies that the Evening Telegram Company owns, it was the right time to do this," said Murphy Burns, a director of Murphy McGinnis Media and president of both the Evening Telegram Company and Morgan Murphy Stations. “This will give us the opportunity to redeploy our assets in our other media interests.”
Morgan Murphy Stations owns five television stations in Wisconsin and Washington and 12 radio stations in Wisconsin, Washington, and Idaho. Murphy and Murphy Burns also own “Madison Magazine” in Madison, Wisconsin.
“Selling Murphy McGinnis Media certainly was an emotional decision for me,” McGinnis said. “It has been an extraordinary honor and privilege for me to have been a part of building Murphy McGinnis Media into the company it is today, and I am happy to continue as a director and consultant. I wish Charlie and MCG continued success and want to thank our wonderful employees and our customers for their support.”
Of his new role as president and CEO of Murphy McGinnis Media, Johnson said, “I am delighted with the opportunity and challenge offered by Superior Publishing and MCG. It is a privilege to continue working with the great people at all of our publications, the people who really make MMM successful.”
Murphy McGinnis Media publications include The Ashland Daily Press, The Chisholm Tribune-Press, The Cloquet Pine Journal, The Duluth Budgeteer News, The Cook County New-Herald in Grand Marais, The Grand Rapids Herald-Review, The Sawyer County Record in Hayward, The Daily Tribune in Hibbing, The Park Falls Herald, The Bee in Phillips, The Spooner Advocate, The Daily Telegram in Superior, The Cook County News Chronicle in Two Harbors, the Mesabi Daily News in Virginia, The Pilot-Independent in Walker, The County Journal in Washburn, Manney’s Shopper, and the Gladwin County Record in Gladwin, Mich.
MCG Capital Corporation (NASDAQ:MCGC) is a publicly traded investment company headquartered in Washington, D.C. with significant investments in small market community newspapers nationwide.
For further information contact Owen Van Essen at Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, phone 505/820-2700, fax 505/820-2900.