Home' Local Media Today : March 2007 Contents MARCH 2007
Journal Register Company
Completes Sale of Rhode Island &
Journal Register Company recently com-
pleted the sale of its three daily community
newspapers and its weekly newspaper
group in Rhode Island to R.I.S.N.
Operations Inc. The final sales price was
approximately $8.3 million in cash, includ-
ing working capital.
In a separate transaction, JRC completed
the sale of its two daily community news-
papers and five non-daily publications in
Massachusetts to GateHouse Media, Inc.
The final sales price was approximately
$70 million in cash and approximately $2
million of working capital.
Net after-tax proceeds of the sales will be
used to pay down debt.
Courtside Acquisition Corp. to
Acquire American Community
Courtside Acquisition Corp. (AMEX:
CRB), a specified purpose acquisition
company, has signed a definitive asset pur-
chase agreement with American
Community Newspapers LLC (“ACN”).
The deal is expected to close in the second
quarter of 2007.
Courtside will acquire substantially all of
the assets of ACN for $165.0 million.
Courtside will also pay up to an additional
$15 million in cash if newspaper cash flow
for 2008 ranges from $19 million (at
which level the contingent payment is $1
million) to $21 million or greater (at which
level the contingent payment will be $15
million). In addition, if the Courtside
stock price exceeds $8.50 per share for a
specified period before July 7, 2009, ACN
will receive an additional payment of $10
million. Following the closing of the
transaction, Courtside will be renamed
American Community Newspapers Inc.
and its securities are expected to trade on
the American Stock Exchange. ACN is
currently owned by Spire Capital Partners,
L.P., Wachovia Capital Partners and mem-
bers of ACN’s senior management.
ACN is a group of 73 publications, com-
prised of 60 weekly suburban newspapers,
three daily newspapers and 10 niche publi-
cations, and operates in three U.S. mar-
kets: Minneapolis – St Paul, Dallas – Ft.
Worth and suburban Washington DC –
Following the closing of the transaction,
Gene Carr will become the Chief
Executive Officer and Chairman of the
Board of Courtside. Dan Wilson will
become Chief Financial Officer and Jeff
Coolman will be the Vice President of
Sales and Minneapolis Group Publisher of
Courtside, holding the same posi-
tions they currently hold for ACN.
The Lakefront Outlook Wins
Prestigious Journalism Award
First Free Weely To Ever Do So
The editorial staff of the Lakefront
Outlook, a free weekly newspaper distrib-
uted in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighbor-
hood, has won the George Polk Award for
Local Reporting for a three-part investiga-
tive series “Power Politics, Privilege” pub-
lished in December 2006.
The Polk Award committee said that the
series, ”tackled the complex investigation
of the $19.5-million Harold Washington
Cultural Center, which had been touted by
Third Ward Alderman Dorothy Tillman as
‘the cornerstone of historic Bronzeville’s
economic and cultural rebirth.’ Instead, the
team exposed the center as a money-losing
operation that was staffed by Tillman’s
family, friends and political cronies.”
The Lakefront Outlook is the first free
weekly newspaper to ever receive the
George Polk Award.
The staff of the Lakefront Outlook consists
of an editor, four reporters and an intern.
They also produce the weekly Hyde Park
The honored editorial staff includes
reporters Kathy Chaney, Erin Meyer,
Nykeya Woods, Daniel J. Yovich, intern
Kalari Girtley and editor Brian Wellner.
Yovich conceived the idea for the series.
The George Polk Awards have become one
of America’s most coveted journalism hon-
This year, in addition to local reporting,
awards are being made for foreign report-
ing, military reporting, medical reporting,
national reporting and seven other cate-
gories. Among the winners are reporters
for the New York Times, the Los Angeles
Times and the Wall Street Journal. The
documentary television award is going to
Spike Lee and Sam Pollard for their two-
part HBO series on the devastation of New
Orleans, “When the Levees Broke.”
Past winners have included Jimmy Breslin,
Walter Cronkite, Thomas Friedman, David
Halberstam and Seymour Hersh.
The honor was established by Long Island
University in 1949 to memorialize CBS
correspondent George Polk, who was slain
covering a civil war in Greece.
SUBURBAN ROUNDUP & BEAT
FAMILY FEATURES NAMES
DIRECTOR OF MEDIA
content for print and online media,
has promoted Wendy MacDonald to
Director of Media. In her new posi-
tion at Family Features, MacDonald
is responsible for the overall man-
agement and strategic planning for
the Media Department.
Family Features’ Media Department
provides free quality food and
lifestyle features and articles to
more than 3,000 publications across
the U.S. and Canada. In addition,
the department tests new formats,
conducts editorial research, and
works with a number of media part-
ners to broaden the distribution of
“Wendy has been instrumental in
reorganizing our Media Department
and positioning it to meet the cur-
rent and future needs of our compa-
ny,” said Dena Klein, President of
Family Features. “Wendy and our
talented Media team have added
new distribution channels and
expanded our distribution in the
U.S. and to Canada. More recently,
they launched new Web offerings
including XML and video feeds,
and ready-to-publish special sec-
MacDonald, a graduate of Ryerson
Polytechnic University in Toronto,
Ontario, was formerly Media
Communications Manager for
Family Features and prior to that,
Director of Sales & Marketing for
The Canadian Press.
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