Gatehouse buys 2 Missouri papers from Morris Publishing

Morris Publishing Group is selling 17 newspapers, including the Independence Examiner and the Hannibal Courier-Post, to GateHouse Media, Inc. for $115 million. Morris, which bases its operations in Augusta, Ga., will use the cash to pay down debt. The sale will leave the company with 10 medium-sized newspapers.
GateHouse, headquartered in Fairport, N.Y., has 86 daily publications in 19 states.
Other daily newspapers being sold are the Dodge City (Kan.) Daily Globe, The Newton (Kan.) Kansan, The (Pittsburg, Kan.) Morning Sun, the Hillsdale (Mich.) Daily News, The Holland (Mich.) Sentinel, The Grand Island (Neb.) Independent, the York (Neb.) News-Times, The Daily Ardmoreite (Okla.), The Shawnee (Okla.) News-Star, the Yankton (S.D.) Daily Press& Dakotan, The Oak Ridger (Tenn.), and the News Chief (Winter Haven, Fla.).
The nondaily newspapers are La Estrella (Dodge City, Kan.), The Girard (Kan.) City Press and the Vermillion (S.D.) Plain Talk.
Also sold was a commercial printing operation, Flashes Publishing (Mich.), which also publishes The Holland Sentinel and the Flashes Shopping Guides.
All the newspapers sold were formerly part of Stauffer Communications, Inc., a Topeka-based media company. SCI sold its holdings to Morris in 1995.
The publisher of the Hannibal Courier-Post, Jack Whitaker, is president-elect of Missouri Press Association. He will succeed Dave Bradley of St. Joseph on Jan. 1.

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