The Worcester Telegram & Gazette newspaper will change hands for the second time in less than a year after its Florida-based parent company was bought Thursday by the New Media Investment Group.
New Media said in a statement that it had acquired “substantially all of the assets” of the Daytona Beach, Fla.-based Halifax Media Group for $280 million in cash. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015, the statement said.
In addition to the Telegram, the New Media Investment Group is buying Halifax’s 35 other publications, mostly located in the Southeast. Those holdings include the former New York Times Co. regional papers, which Halifax acquired in 2012 for $143 million.
“Halifax’s publications are all well-established, leading providers of local news in the communities they serve,” said Michael E. Reed, president of New Media.
Reed said the deal would give New Media access to the many small- and medium-sized businesses that advertise with Halifax’s papers. He also hinted that the company had a “strong pipeline of other potential deals.”
In May, Halifax bought the Telegram’s assets from Boston Globe owner John Henry. That sale, which followed Henry’s pledge to search for a local buyer, was followed by layoffs and a staff shakeup.
Like many American newspapers contending with a shifting media landscape, the Telegram has shrunk substantially in recent years. The Times Co. paid $296 million for the paper in 2000, then valued it at just $7 million when it sold the Telegram along with the Globe to Henry in 2013.
New Media is the parent company of Gatehouse Media, which operates 14 daily newspapers in Massachusetts, including the Patriot Ledger in Quincy, the Standard-Times in New Bedford, the Cape Cod Times, and the Metrowest Daily News.