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April is a month for sales and acquisitions in the media industry

ShakinghandsThe media industry is constantly in flux, and that’s no exception when it comes to news outlets changing hands, especially this past month, which has seen a number of sales go down. Here’s a look at some of the news organizations or properties finding news homes:

  • The Philadelphia Inquirer is on the auction block, but the only buyers are the paper’s current owners. According to Bloomberg.com, owners Lewis Katz and George Norcross have been arguing for months over the direction the paper should go. They bought the paper in 2012 as part of an investor group. The auction, which is to be held May 28, must have a minimum bid price of $77 million. The court also ordered that Interstate General Media LLC, which is the name of the company that owns the paper, be dissolved.
  • Defying a newspaper trend which has seen more wealthy investors buying papers, the McClatchy-owned Anchorage Daily News will be a local paper again for the first time in 35 years, reported AlaskaDispatch.com, which has signed a deal to buy the almost 70-year-old paper. The Dispatch was launched in 2008.
  • The Boston Globe, which is under relatively new ownership, is exploring the sale of its headquarters property on Morrissey Boulevard. The headquarters, an 815,000-square-foot building, has been the newspaper’s home since 1958, reported BostonGlobe.com.
  • Several weeks ago, billionaire Glen Taylor made a proposal to buy the Star Tribune, which resulted in his acquisition of the paper for $100 million, according to MinnPost.com. “I’m interested in this one because it’s a Minnesota paper,” Taylor told StarTribune.com earlier this month. “For the long run, if we can continue to have a news media that’s consistent, fair, broad-based … I think it’s in the interest of our state. I would be proud to be part of that.”
  • In the magazine world, Morris Media Network acquired Carolina Parenting earlier, along with Charlotte Parent and Piedmont Parent in addition to four annual publications, reported Folio.com.
  • Forbes, which is for sale, is reportedly having a hard time finding a buyer. According to Bloomberg.com, Germany-based Axel Springer SE, which publishes the Russian edition of the magazine and was rumored to be interested, is not involved in any part of the sale, while Singapore-based Spice Global Investments has bowed out. The magazine is said to be seeking up to $400 million for the acquisition, but the deadline for bids, which was due in February, has already passed.

April was a busy month for sales and acquisitions. Heading into the rest of Q2 and the following quarters, it will be interesting to see what kinds of ownership trends emerge.

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