45 Hollinger newspapers sold, part of chain's exit from U.S. Publishing

December 05, 1998|By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

CHICAGO -- Hollinger International Inc., a newspaper conglomerate that owns the Chicago Sun-Times, said yesterday that it is selling 45 of its small U.S. papers to an Alabama company for approximately $475 million.

The Chicago chain, which owns newspapers in the United States, Canada, Britain and Israel, also said it would buy the Effingham Daily News, a 13,300-circulation daily in Illinois. Terms of that purchase were not disclosed.

Twenty-eight of the newspapers are dailies, most in Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama. The largest of the dailies sold is the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, a Pennsylvania paper that has a circulation of about 44,000.

Their sale to Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. signals a continuation of Hollinger's strategy to sell small papers that have reached maximum profitability.

It also furthers Hollinger's gradual exit from the U.S. newspaper market. Including yesterday's announced sale, the company has sold more than 200 small U.S. papers in the past 12 months as it has increased its presence in Canada, where Hollinger owns more than half the country's dailies.

Hollinger stock closed yesterday at $13, up 12.5 cents on the New York Stock Exchange.

Pub Date: 12/05/98

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