Who didn’t see this coming?
The company that operates the Las Vegas newspaper has been sold — lock, newspaper stock, barrels of ink and presses — to New Media Investment Group. Stephens Media, which operates eight daily newspapers and more than 65 weekies, sold for $102.5 million cash.
Las Vegas Review-Journal posted the press release on its website this afternoon. The press release boasted that Stephens Media publications have a combined average daily circulation of approximately 221,000 and 244,000 on Sunday. The Las Vegas newspaper alone once had a circulation approaching those numbers.
New Media is said to operate in over 370 markets across 27 states.
At 22.66, the publicly traded New Media’s stock price is nearly double its 52-week low. Stephens was privately held.
New Media has a reputation for layoffs at its newly acquired newspapers. I’m told a reliable source that New Media operates a a layout, copy-editing and graphics hub in Austin, Texas, which does all such work remotely for nearly all of its papers.
In December, Stephens family members sold Halifax Media, which was based in Florida, to New Media.