Wednesday, September 11, 2019

IL Radio: News-Gazette Media Sold To Community Media Group

News-Gazette Media CEO John Reed announced to employees that an agreement has been signed to sell substantially all of its assets to the family-owned Champaign Multimedia Group LLC, an affiliate company of Community Media Group.

The sale is expected to close in early November, according to the News-Gazette.

CMG, headquartered in downstate West Frankfort, IL owns and operates community newspapers with websites in several Midwestern states, including Illinois, Indiana and Iowa, as well as newspapers in Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York.

The acquisition of News-Gazette Media will include three radio stations: News-Talk WDWS 1400 AM, Lite Rock WHMS 97.5 FM and Classic Hits WKIO 107.9 FM, serving the Champaign-Urbana, Danville and East Central Illinois areas, Reed said.

“We are pleased to announce that our search for the new owners for our properties has led us to a family-owned company, located right here in Illinois,” Reed said. “Community Media Group shares our values and represents everything we had hoped to find in the next steward of our newspapers and radio stations. They have a strong commitment to quality products, and they share our vision of a multimedia future where print, radio and digital media outlets continue to complement one another.”

Larry J. Perrotto, chairman of CMG since the company’s inception in 1996, has been involved in all phases of the industry for more than 40 years, with his newspapers winning excellence awards in every category, including Newspaper of the Year and Newspaper of Distinction.

News-Gazette Media was originally founded by David W. Stevick in 1919.

As part of the sale process, News-Gazette Media has filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code. Additionally, and in accordance with the state and federal regulations under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice Act, employees were provided with formal notice of a potential layoff planned to occur in the 14-day period beginning Oct. 31.

However, CMG has indicated that it is developing plans for the rehire of numerous News-Gazette Media employees following the sale to Champaign Multimedia Group.

Reed added, “It is most certainly regrettable that some employees won’t be rehired during the transition. Our economic circumstances — which are not unique to this operation — require that we operate more efficiently. Absent this sale transaction, we would be making similar decisions.”

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