1013 Star Communications acquires 28 Houston-Area Newspapers from ASP WestwardBack to News

HOUSTON, TX – August 23, 2012 – 1013 Star Communications, an operator of suburban newspapers, has acquired Houston Community Newspapers, publisher of 28 newspapers serving communities in the greater Houston market from ASP Westward.   

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a newspaper merger and acquisition firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented ASP Westward in the transaction. 

The HCN group consists of the seven-day daily Conroe Courier, with paid circulation of 11,000, and a group of primarily controlled-distribution weekly newspapers with targeted circulation of more than 500,000 to suburban Houston’s most attractive households.  Communities served by these newspapers include The Woodlands, Humble, Sugarland, Tomball, Cypress Creek and Fort Bend.

Earlier this year, 1013 Star Communications acquired a suburban publishing group in the Dallas area.  The principals in the company, Randy Miller and Arne Hoel, also own newspapers in Arizona.

 “The HCN papers are a great fit for us and create a great network of local community newspapers in the three top markets in the region," Miller said.  “Together with our Arizona and Dallas area newspapers, we are at one million circulation.  And with our two direct mail publications – Clipper and U and Your Home – in the Phoenix market, we are nearly two million. ”

The HCN sale represents the final divestiture for ASP Westward.  ASP also sold its newspaper operations in east Texas and suburban Denver in 2012.  ASP Westward CEO Jim Hopson said he felt confident in the future of the newspapers now under the ownership of 1013 Star Communications.

"We are pleased a company with such a respected reputation and record were the winning bidders," Hopson said.  "1013 brings a considerable knowledge of community newspaper publishing to the operation."

ASP Westward had owned the Houston group since 2002.