Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Halifax, based in Daytona Beach, Fla., is relatively new to the newspaper business. It owns 35 daily newspapers from Alabama to North Carolina, including the former New York Times Co. regional papers, which it acquired in 2012 for $143 million. The T&G is Halifax’s first property in the Northeast.
“The Telegram & Gazette is an essential part of Central Massachusetts, and Halifax recognizes that,” said Mike Sheehan, chief executive of The Boston Globe. “They understand the Worcester market and bring the passion and commitment needed to preserve the T&G’s traditions and build for the future.”
Boston Globe owner John Henry announced his intention to sell the Worcester newspaper in November, a month after acquiring both newspapers and their websites from The New York Times Co. Henry said at the time he was seeking a local buyer for the 148-year-old paper.
The T&G was valued at $7 million by the Times Co. when it was sold along with the Globe. Analysts have pegged the price at $7 million to $15 million, according to a report Wednesday by the T&G on the sale. Three businesses made formal offers on the property, according to a person involved in the deal who was not authorized to speak publicly. The Times Co. bought the T&G for $296 million in 2000.
The Worcester newspaper’s interim publisher, James Hopson, met with the newsroom staff Wednesday to reveal the sale. He reportedly said that the transaction was an “asset sale” that did not include labor contracts and that there would be job cuts as a result. The company currently has 180 employees.
The sale “means that the T&G will have a competent and experienced publisher as its owner that will have the professionalism, skills, and financial resources to operate the Telegram & Gazette and telegram.com skillfully and successfully,” Hopson told a T&G reporter in an interview.
“From the time we learned the T&G was for sale we were interested,” Michael Redding, chief executive of Halifax, said in a statement. “The T&G is an excellent local newspaper with a dedicated and talented staff.’’
Under the sale agreement, the T&G will continue to be printed at the Globe’s Dorchester plant six days a week. On Saturdays, the Worcester paper will still be printed at the Globe’s Millbury plant, which is not being sold to Halifax.
The deal is expected to close June 1.