Media General exploring potential sale of newspapers

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Richmond-based Media General Inc. said Wednesday that it is exploring the potential sale of its newspapers.

The company said it has gotten inquiries from several outside parties about the possible sale of some print assets. Media General’s operations include 18 network-affiliated television stations, 23 daily newspapers and their associated websites. Eight of the daily papers are in Virginia, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The company has retained investment banking advisory firm Peter J. Solomon Co. to help in a strategic evaluation of such a move. But Media General added there is no timetable for the evaluation process and no assurance that any of the newspapers will be sold.

In recent months, the company has indicated that it would consider selling assets as a way of reducing its total outstanding debt.

Media General said that valuations of local media properties, including local newspapers, have reflected their strong market positions in recent merger and acquisition deals.  The company described its newspapers as the leading print products in their core markets.

Virginia Business was founded by Media General in 1986 and sold in 2009. It is now a portfolio company of Richmond-based Virginia Capital Partners LLC.


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