PARADISE, CA, January 31, 2003 - Paradise Post, Inc., which consists of an award-winning three-times-a-week community newspaper and a Northern California web-printing operation, has been sold to California Newspapers Partnership, it was announced today. The partnership is controlled by MediaNews Group based in Denver, Colorado. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Majority owners Lowell Blankfort and Rowland Rebele purchased the then-once-a-week Paradise Post in 1977, and grew the newspaper to three-times-a-week while building a substantial commercial printing business. In 1991, they were joined by CEO Randy Goldberg, who subsequently acquired an ownership interest in the company.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a newspaper merger-and-acquisition firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented Blankfort and Rebele in the transaction.
The VAC-audited Paradise Post (Tues.-Thurs. paid circulation 7,429; Sat. paid circulation 8,286) has long been known for its editorial and advertising excellence, having been cited by the California Newspaper Publishers Association as the best California weekly newspaper in its size category for eight of the past 11 years.
“After more than a quarter century with the Post, we naturally leave with a touch of sadness, but we are not getting any younger,” Blankfort said. “But our sadness is tempered by our confidence that our successors will maintain the high standards of quality that we have sought to provide to our customers in both the newspaper and Paradise Post Printing.”
Added Rebele: “Lowell and I are in our 70s and our kids aren’t newspaper people – so it’s time we sold. Owning the Post for 25 years has been a great ride. Thanks to our talented staff – and Randy Goldberg’s superb leadership in the last 11 of those years –we’ve been able to build a thriving, respected business. I believe our successors at MediaNews will take it to new heights.”
Paradise Post, Inc. also consists of a commercial printing operation – Paradise Post Printing – which was ranked 314th in the U.S. in terms of revenue size in 2002 by Printing Impressions, an industry trade publication. Paradise Post Printing specializes in high quality web-printing for weekly and monthly newspapers, magazines, and directories.
Scott McKibben, CEO of the Northern California division of the California Newspapers Partnership, expects a smooth transition. He has asked that publisher Randy Goldberg remain at his position to ensure a seamless transition. While some functions, such as payroll and purchasing, will be centralized at the partnership’s Chico office, few or no staff changes are expected to take place.
“The Paradise Post and Paradise Post Printing are significant additions to the California Newspapers Partnership,” McKibben said. “It makes perfect sense to bring a world class printing facility into our Northern California family and the Paradise Post is a trusted source for local news in the community. This acquisition is a good fit for us. It’s a good fit for the employees. And it’s a good fit for Paradise.”
The California Newspapers Partnership was formed in 1999 when MediaNews Group and Donrey Media contributed most of their California newspapers to the new venture in an effort to manage the operations more efficiently and provide advertisers and readers with enhanced products. Gannett contributed most if its California operations to the partnership shortly thereafter. Today the partnership owns 20 dailies with combined California circulation of 621,588.
In California, outside the partnership, MediaNews Group also owns and publishes the Los Angeles Daily News and Long Beach Press-Telegram with combined daily circulation of 305,000. In addition, MediaNews Group owns 24 dailies in 10 other states.
As part of the deal, Blankfort will continue to contribute his popular columns and articles to the Paradise Post, including in-depth socio-political articles from his travels around the world.