Freedom Communications announced today that it is selling its North Carolina and Florida newspapers to Halifax Media. Halifax bought 16 newspapers from The New York Times Co. earlier this year, including three in North Carolina and five in Florida. Halifax also owns The Daytona Beach News-Journal.
“Halifax Media Group will offer employment to all existing employees,” says the press release. Halifax laid off more than a hundred employees after it purchased the New York Times Co. papers. Employees were also initially asked to sign non-compete agreements, but were later told they would not be required to do so.
From Friday’s press release:
“At Halifax Media Group, we believe in the future of newspapers,” said Michael Redding, CEO of Halifax Media Group. “The purchase of Freedom’s Florida and North Carolina properties further demonstrates our commitment to newspapers, not only for their value as an investment, but for the value they provide to the communities they serve. These properties provide a perfect extension to our recently acquired New York Times Regional Newspaper Group papers and reflect our interest in preserving community journalism for many years to come.”
Poynter media business analyst Rick Edmonds has said that Halifax could be a buyer for the Tampa Tribune, which competes with Poynter’s Tampa Bay Times. Media General did not sell the Tribune last month when it entered into a deal with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway group to buy its 63 other papers.
Two weeks ago, Freedom announced the sale of its Texas and Midwest papers. The company still owns 10 newspapers in California, including its flagship Orange County Register.