One month after announcing the sale of its radio unit to Beasley Broadcast Group, Greater Media has found a buyer for its newspaper group. Greater Media Newspapers, which publishes 10 weekly papers in Central New Jersey, is under contract to be sold to Philadelphia area businessman Richard Donnelly.
Greater Media wouldn’t confirm that its publishing division was on the block when it announced the sale of its 21 radio stations in seven markets for $240 million. But the newspaper division sale, which is expected to close in mid-September, was widely expected. A purchase price hasn’t been announced.
Greater Media, which is controlled by the Bordes family, will still own several telecommunications towers across the U.S.
Donnelly has spent the past four months snapping up local publications in New Jersey and Philadelphia, including the Sun Newspaper group, Packet Media and Broad Street Media. All told, Donnelly’s newly christened Newspaper Media Group will own close to three-dozen newspapers.
“Together with these entities, we are going to bring back newspapers to reflect the past when people read newspapers,” Donnelly said in a statement. Donnelly began his business ventures with Donnelly Distribution, a company he started in his brother’s garage in 1976. The firm is now the Philadelphia region’s largest advertising distribution company, packaging advertising inserts for delivery at its operations base in Pennsauken, NJ.
Greater Media Newspapers was founded in 1962 when parent company Greater Media, Inc. purchased two weekly newspapers in Southern Middlesex County. Since then the company has worked to differentiate the papers from the large dailies with in-depth coverage of local news, high school sports and community events and issues. In 1999, Greater Media sold its cable business in order to focus more exclusively on its radio and newspaper operations.
“We just celebrated our 60th anniversary, and the Bordes kids are not involved in the business on a day-to-day basis,” Greater Media chief executive Peter Smyth told Inside Radio in an interview last month. “So it was a time that everyone had to make some decisions.”