Tronc Inc., owner of newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun and Chicago Tribune, agreed to pay $1 and assume pensions and liabilities for the New York Daily News and NYDailyNews.com to expand its digital business and add coverage of the biggest media market in the U.S.
Chicago-based Tronc has assumed operational and pension liabilities for the New York Daily News in a deal that includes 100 percent ownership of the New York newspaper's printing facility in New Jersey, Tronc said in a statement late Monday, without disclosing financial terms for the transaction. The purchase ends real estate developer Mortimer B. Zuckerman's 24-year run as owner of the Daily News.
Tronc has sought to expand its chain to gain economies of scale as a decline in print advertising and relatively small gains in digital ad growth cut valuations for established magazine and newspaper brands. The chain will now operate in 10 major U.S. markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, and have more than 80 million unique monthly digital visitors, it said in the statement.
Last year in the U.S., 50 daily newspapers changed hands in 28 deals, according to newspaper merger-and-acquisition firm Dirks, Van Essen & Murray. The deals were driven largely by families or small newspaper groups getting out of the business.
--Bloomberg News, with Ad Age staff