Updated December 30, 2005
phone 810.766.6100 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
web sites www.mlive.com (news) or www.flintjournal.com (general)
Booth Newspapers Acquires Nine Suburban Flint Weekly Papers From 21st Century Newspapers
FLINT, Mich., September 21, 2002 - Booth Newspapers, which operates The Flint Journal, today announced that it has acquired the nine weekly papers of Heritage Newspapers' Suburban Flint Newspaper Group, part of the 21st Century Newspapers Inc.
Effective October 1, Booth will take over the publication of the weekly papers, which have a combined circulation of 84,000, and will distribute them on a broad basis in Genesee County. Roger Samuel, publisher of The Flint Journal, will manage the operation.
Terms of the cash transaction were not disclosed. Booth and 21st Century Newspapers, parent company of Heritage, are privately held firms.
"We are pleased that this transaction will allow our weekly newspapers, which have proudly served their communities for as long as 120 years, to continue as a valuable community resource," said Frank H. Shepherd, chairman and CEO of 21st Century.
"With this acquisition, we will be able to serve the needs of residents throughout Genesee County better than ever," said Journal Publisher Samuel. "We plan to publish weeklies with high-quality advertising and distribution. They are going to be fine weekly products.
"Editorial coverage will have greater readership than ever before," Samuel said. "Small retailers will continue to be able to advertise on a zoned, affordable basis. Larger advertisers will be able to reach the vast majority of households in the county with a single economical buy."
Samuel said that, as an example, Journal subscribers in Clio soon would begin receiving The Clio Messenger as an extra section of their paper, while non-Journal subscribers in Clio would receive the Messenger through separate delivery to their homes.
The Heritage papers in Flint currently employ 38 at their 3200 W. Bristol Road facility, according to General Manager Darrell Futo, who will transfer to Heritage's central office in Southgate. All Flint-based employees will be offered a severance package and be given an opportunity to apply for employment with the new management.
"I'm really proud of the excellent work of our people," said Futo. "They have helped us establish and maintain a vital communication link with the community."
Also included in the transaction is Heritage's Suburban Flint shopper that the new management also plans to continue. It distributes to 90,000 households per month, through separate weekly zoned mailings.
Heritage's weeklies involved in the transaction are The Clio Messenger, The Davison Flagstaff, The Fenton Press, The Grand Blanc News, Flint Township News, The Flushing Observer, The Holly Press, The Suburban Burton and Swartz Creek News.
Booth is part of a diversified media company. In Michigan it publishes the eight Booth daily newspapers and an associated group of 13 weeklies in Kent and Ottawa counties. It is also affiliated with Mlive.com.
21st Century Newspapers, Inc., headquartered in Pontiac, Mich., was formed in 1995 by Frank Shepherd, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners II, L.P., and Kelso & Company to capitalize on clustering opportunities within the suburban newspaper industry in Michigan. The privately held company's four dailies, 97 weekly newspapers and shopping guides have a total circulation of more than two million in northern, eastern and southeastern Michigan.