MILWAUKEE, WI - September 1, 2011 - Journal Community Publishing Group, Inc., a subsidiary of Journal Communications, Inc. (NYSE:JRN), today announced the sale of its publications and websites in Florida to Sumter, South Carolina-based OPC News, LLC.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a newspaper merger and acquisition firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented Journal Communications in the transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Weekly publications and corresponding websites included in the sale are Clay Today, Clay County Leader and the Ponte Vedra Recorder. In addition, OPC News purchased the Car Connection, a weekly magazine serving Jacksonville-area auto dealers.
Following the sale, Journal Communications will have fully divested all of its Florida-based community newspaper properties.
OPC News is owned by three members of the Osteen family, Graham, Kyle and Jack Osteen. The brothers also have holdings in Osteen Publishing Company, Inc., a Sumter newspaper operation that has been in their family for more than a century. In a statement, the brothers said their comfort with small newspapers and the location of these particular properties made the purchase attractive.
“These are great communities with audiences that traditionally love to read newspapers,” the company said in a statement. “Along with the staffs at Today and the Recorder, we think we can bring a renewed vitality to the operation. We think small-town newspapers are our niche.”
Jon Cantrell will continue his role as publisher at Today. Susan Griffin, longtime sales manager at the Recorder, has been named interim publisher. She will continue to perform her current duties.
Griffin and Cantrell will report to Larry Miller, chief executive officer of OPC News, LLC and Osteen Publishing Company. Miller will oversee all of the Florida properties from his office in South Carolina and will be in the market frequently.
Journal Communications, Inc., headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was founded in 1882. The diversified media company has operations in publishing, radio and television broadcasting and interactive media. The company publishes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and several community newspapers and shoppers in Wisconsin, and owns and operates 33 radio stations and 13 television stations in 12 states.
If you have further questions contact Dirks, Van Essen & Murray at 505-820-2700.