Single family-owned independent model ‘not sustainable’

Nov 28, 2023 at 03:21 pm by admin

Hearst – and particularly its Connecticut Media Group – is continuing to invest in regional media with a second acquisition this year.

The family-owned Meriden Record-Journal joins the Manchester Journal Inquirer acquired by HCMG in June.

The preliminary sales agreement announced on Monday covers all print and digital operations of RJ Media Group, including the Record-Journal, its seven weekly publications and its digital advertising agency.

Fifth-generation publisher Liz White Notarangelo described the deal as “a great fit and next chapter for our family company”, with Hearst Connecticut group publisher and president Mike DeLuca “thrilled to welcome the Record-Journal to the Hearst Connecticut Media Group family”.

In a column this week, White Notarangelo acknowledged the economic realities small publishers face amid “seismic changes” in the news industry over the last two decades, as well as the impact of the pandemic and continued disruption in the overall economy.

“Our company and our loyal team members have worked hard to innovate, evolve and transform our company over the years from a newspaper company to a multimedia company,” she wrote. “However, at this point, we’ve determined that being a single property, independent family-owned media company is no longer a sustainable business model for the Record-Journal.”

The Record-Journal will retain its name and local presence serving communities in the greater Meriden-Wallingford area, while offering subscribers access to more statewide news, sports and features.

DeLuca says HCMG has seen dramatic subscription growth in recent years, while continuing to invest in news coverage. It launched statewide website CT Insider in 2021 and last year expanded state and local news coverage in Hartford County on its way to a goal of 100,000 print and digital subscribers in Connecticut.

Hearst’s network consists of 16 websites, eight daily newspapers and more than a dozen weekly news publications. It most recently acquired the Journal Inquirer of Manchester.

Dirks, Van Essen & April is representing RJ Media in the transaction, terms of which were not disclosed. Parties hope to finalise the acquisition in December.

Sections: Newsmedia industry


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