The New York Times Co. is selling 16 of its regional newspapers for $143 million. That might seem like a lot, but consider this: The Herald-Sun in Durham, where I was managing editor until Jan. 2005, sold to Paxton Media in Dec. 2004 for a price reported to have been in the neighborhood of $120 million.
At the time of its sale, The Herald-Sun had a circulation in the 50,000 range. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, just one of the 16 papers the NYT Co. is attempting to dump, has a circulation of 110,000. The average circulation of the 16 papers is 27,000, and the average selling price is $8.9 million per newspaper.
The Herald-Sun sale came out to $2.4 million per thousand of circulation. The Times Co. sale, if it goes through, is at a mere fraction of that, $333,000 per thousand.
And newspaper values probably haven’t reached the bottom yet.
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