Online publication buys McClatchy’s Anchorage paper

Alaska Dispatch | Anchorage Daily News

The online news publication Alaska Dispatch has reached an agreement to purchase the Anchorage Daily News from McClatchy, the companies announced Tuesday.

The purchase price was $34 million, Alex DeMarban reports for Alaska Dispatch, calling the deal a “stunning media shakeup in the 49th state.”

Alaska Dispatch “plans no changes to the Anchorage Daily News’ staff, content or distribution,” DeMarban reports.

The purchase “includes the newspaper, ADN.com and the Daily News’ building on Northway Drive in East Anchorage,” the Daily News reports. “After the purchase is finalized, the building will be sold to a private local buyer, according to a statement from Alaska Dispatch, and the Daily News will continue operations as a tenant.”

According to figures filed with the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the Anchorage Daily News’ average Sunday circulation was 45,783 in September 2013, and its average Monday through Saturday circulation was 51,539.

Here’s the press release:

ANCHORAGE, AK—APRIL 8, 2014—Alaska Dispatch Publishing LLC, the owner and publisher of Alaska Dispatch, has reached an agreement to purchase the Anchorage Daily News from The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI).

Founded in 2008, Alaska Dispatch is an award-winning site at the forefront of the national movement toward independent online news. Alice Rogoff, a longtime supporter of journalism and a former chief financial officer of U.S. News and World Report, became the majority owner of Alaska Dispatch LLC in 2009. Since then, the operation has employed writers, editors, and a full-time sales staff. Rogoff is the publisher and chief executive while co-founder Tony Hopfinger is the executive editor and president.

“We founded Alaska Dispatch to ensure the future of quality journalism in Alaska,” said Hopfinger. “We’ve established ourselves as a leader in investigative reporting, public service journalism, and in offering a variety of opinions and perspectives from around the state, and we’ve been recognized with regional and national awards. We’re proud of what we have accomplished in the last five years, and we couldn’t be more excited about this new venture.”

The Anchorage Daily News, the largest newspaper in Alaska, has a long history of distinguished journalism, winning two Pulitzer Prizes for public service in 1976 and 1989. “We’re excited to add the many talented and accomplished employees of the Anchorage Daily News to our team,” said Rogoff.

“The Anchorage Daily News and Alaska Dispatch play vital roles in our great state,” said Rogoff. “By merging these operations, we can serve as a stronger, even more comprehensive resource for Alaskans for their news and information. Our mission is to offer a level of coverage never before seen in Alaska history, and to offer it to readers across the state through a variety of mediums.

“We expect to publish news and commentary for all Alaskans, from oil field workers on the North Slope to Southeast fishermen; from those whose roots go back thousands of years to newcomers fresh off the plane; from our biggest cities to our most remote villages and everywhere in between. We want to provide a true public forum where Alaskans from all walks of life can come together to help build our community.”

The purchase price is $34 million, payable at closing, which is anticipated to occur in May of 2014.

The transaction covers the Anchorage Daily News, their website adn.com, and the newspaper’s real property and operations in Anchorage. After the purchase is completed, the real estate assets of the Anchorage Daily News will be sold by Alaska Dispatch to a private local buyer. The Anchorage Daily News will continue operations as a tenant from its East Anchorage location.

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