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N&O Owner Buys Herald Sun

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — California-based McClatchy has added The Herald-Sun of Durham to its media holdings.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Wednesday Dec. 21 that McClatchy bought the newspaper and its online assets from Kentucky-based Paxton Media Group, which acquired them in 2004.

The companies did not disclose the cost or other terms of the deal. Indy Week reported at the time that Paxton paid a whopping $125 million for the newspaper, which then had a circulation of about 50,000.

The Herald-Sun’s operation will be overseen by Sara Glines, president and publisher of The News & Observer.

“We are excited to be able to expand our print and digital presence in the Raleigh-Durham area,” Glines said in a statement on the newspaper’s website. “We’ll give our utmost focus and attention to The Herald-Sun’s customers and continue to be a strong partner in the community.”

The move continues consolidation in the newspaper industry, where the massive revenues from the heyday of print have been stripped by the digital explosion. Newsroom jobs were slashed during the Great Recession and papers have been slow to staff back up in an era of increasingly stiff competition for advertising dollars.

The N&O once had a Sunday circulation that exceeded 170,000 newspapers., a website that follows media circulation numbers, put The N&O’s daily print circulation at 129,698 and the Herald-Sun’s at 21,367 as of 2012.

The N&O and Herald-Sun have been longtime adversaries, with the Raleigh paper establishing a large office in Durham in the 1990s and looking to grow readership in the Durham-Chapel Hill corridor. But cracking the Durham market, where readers were loyal to the Herald-Sun and their town, proved difficult for The N&O at the time. The paper eventually scaled back its efforts in Durham.

The Herald-Sun dates to 1889, when it was published as the Durham Daily Sun.

The move further expands McClatchy’s reach across the Carolinas. The company also owns The Charlotte Observer, Smithfield Herald, Columbia State, Myrtle Beach Sun News, Beaufort (S.C.) Gazette and Hilton Head (S.C.) Island Packet.

Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show.

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