AUGUSTA, GA, JULY 18, 2006 - William S. Morris IV, president and CEO of Morris Publishing Group, announced today that Morris Publishing Group has reached an agreement to acquire four weekly newspapers in Georgia and South Carolina from Community Newspapers Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The sale includes the 6,600-circulation Barnwell (SC) People-Sentinel, the Hampton County (SC) Guardian, with circulation of 5,000; the Edgefield (SC) Citizen News, circulation 4,100; and the Sylvania (GA) Telephone, with circulation of 3,200.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a newspaper merger-and-acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented Community Newspapers Inc. in the transaction.
“These newspapers are located in our Augusta and Savannah market areas and are a great fit for us,” Morris said. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to be associated with these terrific newspapers and look forward to serving the readers and advertisers in these wonderful communities.”
Tom Wood, chairman of Community Newspapers Inc., said, “These papers have served their communities in the finest tradition of community journalism for many years, two of them for more than a century. We are pleased that a newspaper company with the reputation of Morris Publishing will be involved in preserving that tradition.”
Georgia newspapers owned by Morris Publishing Group include the dailies Augusta Chronicle, Savannah Morning News and Athens Banner-Herald, and the nondailies the Columbia County News Times, McDuffie Mirror and News and Farmer and Wadley Herald/ Jefferson Reporter. Morris also owns Bluffton Today, a daily newspaper in South Carolina.
Morris Publishing Group, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Morris Communications Company, LLC, a privately held media company based in Augusta, Ga. Morris Publishing currently owns and operates 27 daily and 12 nondaily newspapers, four city magazines and numerous free community publications in the Southeast, Midwest, Southwest and Alaska.