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In what might be its biggest move since splitting from 21st Century Fox, News Corp on Tuesday said it has sold Dow Jones Local Media Group, an asset that operates 33 publications, including eight daily newspapers.
News Corp said it sold the group to Fortress Investment Group, a publicly traded money manager that invests in private equity and undervalued and distressed assets.
The Dow Jones Local Media Group consists of such daily newspapers as the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, N.Y., Cape Cod Times in Hyannis, Mass., The Record in Stockton, Calif., The Pocono Record of Pennsylvania, and The Mail Tribune in Medford, Oregon. It also holds several weekend newspapers papers and websites.
“These newspapers share a strong tradition of service in their communities and a highly talented staff,” said News Corp CEO Robert Thomson. “We are confident that the papers will prosper under the new owners, but they were not strategically consistent with the emerging portfolio of the new News.”
The company was founded in 1936 as Ottaway Newspapers and Dow Jones purchased it nearly four decades later. News Corp acquired it as part of its $5 billion purchase of Dow Jones six years ago and changed the asset’s name to Dow Jones Local Media Group.
News Corp and Fortress would not disclose financial details of the transaction, though in 2006 when the company was still known as Ottaway it sold about half its titles and some of its real estate to Community Newspaper Holdings for $288 million.
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