Heartland Acquires West Virginia NewspapersBack to News

WILLIAMSON, WV, April 1, 2005 – Mid-South Management Co., Inc., of Spartanburg, S.C., has sold the Williamson (WV) Daily News and two affiliated weeklies to Heartland Publications, LLC, of Jacksonville, Fla. No terms were disclosed.

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a newspaper merger-and-acquisition firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented Mid-South Management in the transaction.

Andrew Babb, Mid-South’s president, said the sale is a result of a new strategic direction for his company in which it is concentrating on clusters of newspapers in the Southeast. Mid-South and its affiliate, Crescent Media Group, which is owned by Babb, publish 19 newspapers and a magazine in Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama.

Last year Crescent Media Group acquired the Thomaston (GA) Times from Heartland.

Michael Bush, Heartland’s president, said, "We are very excited by having the Williamson Daily News join our family of community of newspapers. Mid-South has been a wonderful steward of this newspaper, and we will be proud to continue the traditions of fine newspapering that they have established."

Bush said that Heartland plans on strategically growing the company through acquisitions. "Williamson is in an area of the country we really enjoy and in which we have already established ourselves with several newspapers." Heartland currently operates 22 weekly and daily newspapers.

Mid-South had owned the Williamson Daily News, with circulation of 8,200, since 1963. The Gilbert Times and The Independent Herald of Pineville, two weeklies close to Williamson that are included in the sale to Heartland, were purchased in 2000.

For further information contact Phil Murray at Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, (phone) 505-820-2700, (fax) 505-820-2900, or visit our website at www.dirksvanessen.com.