LONG BEACH, CA, January 6, 2004 - John and Fran Blowitz announced today that they have sold the Grunion Gazette and Downtown Gazette, published in Long Beach, California to West Coast MediaNews, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of MediaNews Group, Inc. of Denver, Colorado. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a newspaper merger-and-acquisition firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented John and Fran Blowitz in the transaction.
John and Fran Blowitz have owned and operated the Grunion Gazette since 1981, and started the Downtown Gazette in 1988. The papers have combined weekly distribution of 65,000.
"Ours was no longer a mom-and-pop newspaper operation," the husband and wife owners said. "It needed a more global approach to secure the futures of our excellent staff. We think we're the most successful community newspaper in the state, if not the nation. It's our employees that have given us this distinction."
Dean Singleton, vice chairman and chief executive officer of MediaNews Group, said, “We are thrilled to have added one of the finest weekly community newspapers in California to our family. Our intention is to build on its strengths and the strengths of its long time employees. Fran and John Blowitz have built these newspapers in part through their deep involvement and commitment to the community, which we intend to continue."
MediaNews Group owns and publishes the Long Beach Press-Telegram and the Daily News in Los Angeles, with combined daily circulation of nearly 300,000. In addition, MediaNews Group controls 22 other daily newspapers in California, which are owned by the California Newspapers Partnership, including San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, Whittier Daily News, San Bernardino County Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, and the Redlands Daily Facts. MediaNews Group’s newspapers in the greater Los Angeles market have a combined daily and Sunday circulation of 522,295 and 581,910, respectively.
MediaNews Group, Inc. is the nation’s seventh largest newspaper company, with headquarters in Denver, CO. MediaNews Group and its affiliated companies publish 50 daily newspapers, including the Los Angeles Daily News and Long Beach Press-Telegram in California, and 122 non-daily publications in 12 states with daily and Sunday circulation of approximately 2.1 million and 2.2 million, respectively.
In addition, MediaNews Group owns a CBS affiliate in Anchorage, Alaska and four radio stations in Texas. MediaNews Group maintains 74 Web sites for its daily newspapers and an umbrella site, newschoice.com.
For further information contact Owen Van Essen at Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, phone 505/820-2700, fax 505/820-2900.