The New York Times announced Tuesday that it is selling its entire Regional Media Group, a network of 16 newspapers — including the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the Petaluma Argus-Courrier, and the North Bay Business Journal — to Halifax Media Holdings LLC for $143 million.
Halifax Media, founded in 2010, owns the Daytona Beach (Florida) News-Journal.
The sale could mean big, immediate changes at the North Bay papers, according to media blogger Jim Romenesko.
Romenesko published an FAQ on his website, which he said was provided by the New York Times company to employees at all affected papers:
3. How many employees will be retained by Halifax?
That decision will be made by Halifax, but they have committed to making offers of employment to the vast majority of employees. You will be notified within the next 48 hours whether the buyer will be offering you employment.
4. What is the process for determining who will be hired?
Halifax has decided who it will hire. Again, you will be notified within the next 48 hours whether the buyer will be offering you employment. The New York Times Company has not been involved in that decision.
11. Should I plan to look for another job?
We cannot advise employees on their personal, professional decisions.
The New York Times' decision to sell its Regional Media Group papers comes amid continued losses in the newspaper world. According to the Press Democrat, the group's revenues have tumbled as its regional papers have been hammered by the economic downturn and loss of advertising.
According to the San Francisco Business Times, the Press Democrat is the fifth-largest daily newspaper in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a total average circulation of 59,542. The Argus Courier has a circulation of around 10,000, and the North Bay Business Journal tops 8,000, according to published estimates.
(Disclosure: The Bay Citizen produces The New York Times’ regional Bay Area Report, which appears in print on Fridays and Sundays as well as on NYTimes.com.)