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116 Laps Around Fenway Park, Barefoot – July 2023 M&A Activity


116 Laps Around Fenway Park, Barefoot

Reade Brower, the intrepid barefoot Hawaiian shirt-clad serial entrepreneur, announced the sale of his company’s 22 newspapers to the National Trust for Local News (NTLN). Based in Denver, Colorado, the nonprofit organization is acquiring five daily newspapers and 17 weekly papers from Masthead Maine, the news organization that Brower has assembled over the past decade as opportunities arose and he was the right person in the right place at the right time with the right resources. By deciding to pass his ownership of the papers over to NTLN, Brower has sidestepped the path of many of the other regional publishers that have sold out to one of the larger financial buyers. In doing so, he expressed his hope that his sale would be different: newsroom staff would be retained, and the high quality of the papers be maintained for the next generation.


Many newspapers in the US trace their history back well over a hundred years. But for many publishers, the race has become too painful. Exhausted, they drop out. Recent research indicates that on average two newspapers go out of business each and every week, a pace of decline that has been sustained, on average, for the past two decades. Moreover, many daily papers have reduced the frequency of their printed editions. Weekly papers drop from seven to three or four days a week, bi-weeklies become weekly papers. Stories of gutted newsrooms abound. The reporters that remain are overworked and underpaid. The loss is felt particularly hard in rural communities. With the cessation of local news reporting, “news deserts” are popping up where there is no accountability at the local municipal and county levels. Sports and community events go un-recorded or transitioned to the online ether of the internet.


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