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MediaNews buys Santa Cruz Sentinel

Dean Singleton’s MediaNews Group acquired another daily newspaper yesterday — the 25,000-circulation Santa Cruz Sentinel. Singleton had been eying the Sentinel for several months. The paper was put on the block last year by owner Dow Jones & Co. along with five other dailies in other parts of the country. MediaNews bid on just the Sentinel, but Dow Jones decided to sell the entire group to Alabama-based Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. for $287.9 million. It was the Alabama chain’s only West Coast paper and chief executive Donna Barrett said the Sentinel “will be a better strategic fit with its new owner.”

George Riggs, chief executive of the California Newspapers Partnership and publisher of the Mercury News, made the announcement in the Sentinel’s newsroom (see picture above).

The Merc reported that the Sentinel will be acquired by the California Newspapers Partnership, which is controlled by MediaNews with Gannett and Stephens Media as the remaining partners. Terms weren’t disclosed, but each partner contributed its share of the price, with MediaNews paying for its share with borrowings from a revolving credit agreement.

A brief announcement on the Sentinel’s Web site last night quoted Singleton as saying: “The Sentinel is a fine newspaper today but will be strengthened by the resources of our existing newspapers.” (Photo credit: Sentinel Web site.)

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