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GateHouse to buy Schurz publishing division

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Human_Paraquat, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. Human_Paraquat

    Human_Paraquat Active Member

    Most notable properties include the South Bend Tribune and Bloomington Herald-Times here in Indiana.

    Schurz Communications Announces Sale of Publishing Division as Part of Global Technology Growth Strategy - Schurz Communications Inc.

    From the press release:

    Schurz Communications, a privately held communications company formed in 1872, announced today its intention to sell its publishing division to GateHouse Media, LLC (“GateHouse Media”) and will continue investing in the areas of cloud and managed IT services and broadband operations. GateHouse Media, one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States, is expected to assume ownership during the first quarter of 20 regional papers and several special publications in Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania and South Dakota.
     
  2. crimsonace

    crimsonace Well-Known Member

    Schurz Communications, a family-owned chain that owns the South Bend Tribune and the Bloomington Herald-Times among its 20 newspapers, has sold to GateHouse.

    Schurz sells H-T to GateHouse Media
     
  3. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    Two thoughts.

    1. It is surprising that Gatehouse pased on CNHI, which basically owns the small town papers in Indiana that Schurz does not.

    2. There is no announcement on the Gatehouse investor relations website. That means one of two things. One, Schurz beat them to the punch with their announcement hey have not had time to post anything yet.

    Or the price paid was so low that it was immaterial and no public announcement is necessary. If that is the case the case that indicates the purchase price is really low.
     
  4. exmediahack

    exmediahack Well-Known Member

    Sad to see Schurz get out of the "biz" entirely. They owned a pack of highly successful (and profitable) TV stations until three years ago when they sold out for a boatload of cash. Really good places to work, too.
     
  5. Tarheel316

    Tarheel316 Well-Known Member

    I, too, am surprised Gatehouse passed on CNHI.
     
  6. crimsonace

    crimsonace Well-Known Member

    With this, there appear to be three major firms that own small-town newspapers in Indiana. Schurz had its biggest presence in the Bloomington area (owned Martinsville, Spencer & Bedford and at least used to put out a combined Sunday edition for all markets). I would see GateHouse likely consolidating the Bloomington-area papers. That + South Bend (with the crazy IU & Notre Dame fans buying up subscriptions for college coverage) likely make them more attractive than the CNHI properties, which are more numerous but more scattered and in smaller markets.

    CHNI - whose biggest properties appear to be Kokomo, Terre Haute & Anderson, but has lots of smaller newspapers (including a couple of suburban dailies in Indy - Lebanon and Hendricks County - that could be performing a lot better).
    AIM - used to be Home News Enterprises, owns the I-65 southern Indiana corridor (Seymour, Columbus, Brown County, Johnson County & Hancock County - two of which are Indy suburban dailies). Seems to be doing OK and is probably the best of the three to work for, but has had some significant cutbacks of late after the sale from the Brown family to the out-of-state group.
    Paxton - owns a bunch of tiny newspapers - Shelbyville, Connersville, New Castle, Marion and a few others. Has basically cut them all to the bone and all have very small circulations.
     
  7. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Layoffs in Bloomington. That didn't take long.
     
  8. crimsonace

    crimsonace Well-Known Member

    Almost as soon as the sale was announced, two people - including one of the staff photographers - were let go from the newsroom.
     
  9. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    Both South Bend and Bloomington used to have great sports staffs/sections. Is that still the case or are they embarrassments like most?
     
  10. crimsonace

    crimsonace Well-Known Member

    I can't speak for SB, but Bloomington was a powerhouse for years with Bob Hammel, Lynn Houser, Andy Graham and Rex Kirts all there for a long time together. They covered IU like a blanket (and obviously, Hammel had access to Bob Knight nobody else had, but that also required treating him with kid gloves) but also did a good job on the local high schools and hopping in enough on the Indy pros to provide some non-AP content. All of them have retired. It's still a good staff, but significantly smaller and younger.
     
  11. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    I went to IU a long, long time ago but it was an excellent section. I remember they really did a good job on high school basketball, which is a very big deal in Southern Indiana. I wonder how much staff Gatehouse will to cover high schools or just stick to IU coverage and wire copy.
     
  12. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Kid gloves is an understatement. Hammel's columns after IU games were virtually Knight transcripts. Just way, way too tight with the coach to be credible. But I respected that he didn't ignore the non-IU parts of being the sports editor, of all things I enjoyed his coverage of the city golf championship every year.

    And yeah, it felt like those four guys were there for 70 years.
     
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