Orange County Business Journal

Freedom Sells Off New Mexico Newspapers

Kari Hamanaka Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Irvine-based Freedom Communications Inc.’s New Mexico newspapers are the latest of the company’s media properties to be sold.

Terms of the sale—announced Tuesday and expected to close before the end of the month—weren’t disclosed.

The buyer is Sheridan, Wyo.-based Clovis Media Inc.

The deal includes the sale of Freedom’s two New Mexico dailies, the News Journal in Clovis and the Portales News-Tribune. Clovis Media also also buy the weekly Quay County Sun in Tucumcari.

Freedom owns the Orange County Register in Santa Ana along with more than 100 newspapers, magazines and other publications.

A statement from Freedom said all of the New Mexico newspapers’ workers will stay on with the new owner.

Freedom placed itself on the sales block last year looking for bids on all or parts of the company. Denver-based MediaNews Group Inc. appeared a likely candidate with the two companies engaging in on-and-off talks last year, but no deal was struck.

Freedom’s strategy at the moment appears to be selling the company off in pieces. It struck a deal in November to sell its eight television stations to Hunt Valley, Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. for $385 million.

That was followed up with the January sale of The Tribune daily newspaper in Seymour, Ind., to Columbus, Ind.-based Home News Enterprises LLC.