The parent company of the Citizens’ Voice, The Times-Tribune and the Standard-Speaker informed employees Monday it is looking to sell four daily and five weekly newspapers.
Times-Shamrock Communications, based in Scranton, listed the newspapers being marketed for sale as The Towanda Daily Review and Sunday Review, The Shamokin News-Item, The Petersburg (Va.) Progress-Index and The Virgin Islands Daily News. The alternative weeklies for sale include the Baltimore City Paper, Orlando (Fla.) Weekly, San Antonio (Texas) Current, Cleveland (Ohio) Scene and Detroit (Mich.) Metro Times. The list was included in a story posted on the Citizens’ Voice website Monday afternoon.
A message left with George Lynett Jr., a co-chief executive officer of Times-Shamrock Communications and publisher of The Times-Tribune, was not returned Monday afternoon. Neither was a message left with Scott Lynett, another co-CEO of the company.
The sale process will be handled by Cribb, Greene and Associates, a Bozeman, Mont.-based merger-and-acquisition firm. Managing Director John Cribb said the Lynetts are willing to sell the papers off individually or as a group, though the preference would be to sell them as a group.
Cribb defined the process as being at “the initial stage” and a six-month schedule is typical for this sort of sale. Typically the announcement that papers are being marketed for sale doesn’t come out this early, but the Lynetts decided to make it known to staff members earlier in the process.
Cribb said his company will be visiting newspaper sites involved in the potential sale and then will begin the process of marketing the properties and seeking potential buyers. A list will be created of potential buyers and presented to Times-Shamrock and negotiations will move along from there.
While Lynett did not return a call seeking comment, he was quoted in the Citizens’ Voice story as saying the goal is to “refocus and double-down on our efforts at home in Northeast Pa.”
“All of these papers have been strong, profitable investments for us for many years,” Lynett Jr. was quoted as saying during a Monday morning meeting with employees that was detailed in the Citizens’ Voice story. “We have enjoyed operating in these diverse markets and the decision to sell was difficult. However … it made sense for us to offer these more distant papers for sale to someone who could take them to the next level of growth.”