Emails are arriving today to staff at the 16 papers The New York Times Co. is selling to Halifax Media. Employees are being told whether Halifax has decided to keep them or let them go. Here’s the “good news” email:
Dear Regional Media Group Colleague,
On Tuesday, Dec. 27, you received an announcement … that the Regional Media Group is being sold to Halifax Media Holdings LLC. We are pleased to inform you that Halifax has informed us that they will be offering you employment.
We are alerting you via e-mail as many people are out of the office due to the holidays and we wanted to be certain that you received this information quickly.
Should you have any questions, please speak with your publisher.
In addition to the 16 new papers acquired when the deal closes in a few weeks, Halifax operates the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Arkansas billionaire Warren Stephens is the majority owner of Halifax, through his Stephens Inc. financial services firm. The 54-year-old and his family also own Stephens Media, whose holdings include the Las Vegas Review-Journal, 10 other daily newspapers and 64 weeklies, as well as two news agencies. Stephens and the Review-Journal contracted with Righthaven to enforce its copyright last year, but Righthaven cases have been dismissed and the company is struggling to retain its assets.
Max Brantley reports that Stephens Media has faced its own struggles:
They gave up the Northwest Arkansas newspaper war against Democrat-Gazette publisher Walter Hussman to settle for a profit-sharing arrangement; they’ve seen a dramatic drop in profits at their Las Vegas newspaper, once a phenomenal cash cow, and they’ve been restructuring some other Arkansas newspaper properties.