The sale will end Sandusky’s 36-year history as a radio broadcasting company and allow it to concentrate on the continuing digital transformation of its local print and online newspaper and marketing franchises. Sandusky Newspapers, Inc. is the parent corporation of the company which publishes Johnson City Press, Kingsport Times-News, The Herald & Tribune in Jonesborough, Erwin Record and The Tomahawk in Mountain City.
Purchase price is $85.5 million. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.
Norman D. Rau, president of Sandusky Radio, said, “Hubbard Radio is a private family-owned company, just like Sandusky, and holds very similar long-term beliefs and values. Hubbard has nine family members directly involved in the Hubbard companies. We believe the future of our listeners, our employees and our customers could not be in better hands.”
Rau added, “As a significantly larger broadcasting company, Hubbard can give the Sandusky stations a potential for growth and scale that Sandusky on its own just could not give them.”
The Hubbard companies own 16 radio stations in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis, and Cincinnati, and 10 television stations located in New Mexico, upstate New York, and Minnesota. Hubbard also owns the ReelzChannel, a cable/satellite network dedicated to everything about movies and seen in 65 million households.
Ginny Morris, granddaughter of the founder of the Hubbard companies, is the Chair of Hubbard Radio. Bruce Reese is CEO and Drew Horowitz is Chief Operating Officer. Morris said she expects no programming or personnel changes for any of the radio stations acquired in the transaction.
David Rau, CEO of Sandusky Newspapers, Inc., said the company has no plans to divest any of its newspapers or their related digital products. Doug Phares, president of Sandusky Newspaper Group, said, “We believe strongly in the future of our newspapers and the communities we serve, and are working very hard to grow and transform the business into a digital delivery and marketing service company, as well as to continue building on the strength of our traditional print products.”
Sandusky owns newspapers and dozens of related digital products in four states: In Utah, the Ogden Standard-Examiner; in Tennessee, the Kingsport Times-News, the Johnson City Press, the Lebanon Democrat, the Hartsville Vidette, the Mt. Juliet News, the Erwin Record, the Herald & Tribune in Jonesborough, the Tomahawk in Mountain City; in Michigan, the Grand Haven Tribune; and in Ohio, the Sandusky Register and the Norwalk Reflector.