BREAKING NEWS: Amarillo Globe-News sold to GateHouse Media, Inc.

Tom Hinde

Morris Communications announced today the sale of 11 of its daily and non-daily newspapers, its Lubbock, Texas based commercial printing operation and other related publications to GateHouse Media, Inc. The sale is part of the company's strategic restructuring efforts to focus on lifestyle and niche publications, broadband operations, property development and new business. The sale, according to the Morris Communications press release, is expected to be finalized on October 2, 2017. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Texas properties offered in the sale include the Amarillo Globe-News, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and West Texas Printing. "The sale of the Amarillo Globe-News is certainly bittersweet," said Les Simpson, publisher of the Globe-News. "The Morris family has been tremendously committed to the Amarillo community for 45 years and I've spent all of my 30-year career with them. However, GateHouse is a dynamic company that understands community journalism and helping businesses prosper and grow through innovative solutions. I'm extremely pleased that we will be joining their team."

According to the Globe-News website, Les Simpson will remain as publisher of the Globe-News. The Morris family will retain ownership of the Amarillo Globe-News building and property in downtown Amarillo and will explore redevelopment options for their property. The Morris family purchased the Amarillo Daily News and Amarillo Globe-Times from the Whittenburg family in 1972. The two newspapers merged in April 2001 to form the Amarillo Globe-News.

GateHouse Media is a division of New Media Investment Group, a publicly traded company (NEWN) on the New York Stock Exchange. It is one of the largest newspaper companies in the country. Currently, GateHouse owns more than 130 daily newspapers and more than 500 non-daily publications across the United States.