Santa Maria, CA - March 13, 2020 - Santa Maria News Media announced today that it has acquired the daily Santa Maria (CA) Times and the daily Hanford (CA) Sentinel, along with eight companion weekly publications. The papers were sold by Lee Enterprises, a publicly traded media company headquartered in Davenport, Iowa.
The daily publications have a combined average circulation of 7,200 and their websites, santamariatimes.com, lompocrecord.com and hanfordsentinel.com reach more than 500,000 unique visitors each month. Lee Enterprises purchased the properties in 2005 as part of its Pulitzer acquisition.
CAL DVM, a wholly-held subsidiary of Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April, represented Lee Enterprises in the transaction. Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April is a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Santa Maria News Media is a newly formed company led by a group of Canadian newspaper executives. The new owners have newspaper assets throughout Canada and the United States. Their California newspapers include the Bakersfield Californian, Sonora Union Democrat, Porterville Recorder, Marysville Appeal-Democrat, Imperial Valley Press, Lodi News-Sentinel and the Antelope Valley Press.
“We are excited to have these newspapers join our other California operations," said Steven Malkowich, executive vice president of Santa Maria News Media. "It was a pleasure working with a group of real professionals in every aspect of this transaction.”
“Lee is thankful for the contributions Santa Maria, Lompoc and Hanford have made since 2005. They have shown an unwavering commitment to their communities and demonstrated exemplary local journalism,” said Kevin Mowbray, president and chief executive officer of Lee Enterprises. “We wish them continued success under the leadership of Santa Maria News Media.”