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Media General sells The Tampa Tribune

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Richmond-based Media General Inc. has sold the last of its newspapers, including its largest daily, The Tampa Tribune.

The Tribune and its associated print and digital operations were bought for $9.5 million by Tampa Media Group, Inc., a new company formed by the Los Angeles-based investment firm Revolution Capital Group.

The sale closed today. The deal is expected to yield net proceeds before expenses of about $2 million.

“It’s a bittersweet day for Media General to complete the sale of its last remaining newspaper group,” Marshall N. Morton, Media General’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.  “The Tampa Tribune was our largest and second oldest newspaper.”

Media General purchased The Tampa Tribune in a partnership in 1927. 

Robert Loring, founder and managing partner of Revolution Capital Group, described The Tampa Tribune as a newspaper with strong brand and a long history of serving its community well. “We believe strongly in the value of local content,”  he said in a statement.

With the deal, Media General has completed its transformation to a company focused on broadcast television and digital media. The company earlier this year sold 63 newspapers, including its flagship paper, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, to a subsidiary of Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire Hathaway for $142 million. The sale included seven other daily newspapers in Virginia.

The company now owns 18 network-affiliated broadcast television stations and their associated digital media and mobile platforms.

Media General will report third-quarter 2012 results on Oct. 17. The company reported a net loss in the second quarter of $146.3 million, or $6.48 per share, including an after-tax loss of $131.7 million related to the divestiture of discontinued operations. Media General had second-quarter operating income of $16.4 million, compared with $6.2 million in the 2011 second quarter.

Revolution Capital Group was formed by a group of private equity, merger-and-acquisition and operational executives.  The partners have worked on more than $15 billion in transactions with corporations such as AT&T, BASF, Bayer, General Electric, Hays PLC, IBM, Lucent, Motorola, Universal Group and Williams Communications.

In addition to the Tampa Tribune, the company’s portfolio includes Lawrence Schiff Silk Mills Inc., online software producer CAPXG LLC and Dove Professional Apparel.


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