CNHI, a community newspaper powerhouse, is up for sale

Donna Barrett
Donna Barrett

CNHI LLC, the publisher of more than 100 community newspapers in 22 states, said it is exploring the sale of its newspaper properties.

News of the possible sale of the Montgomery, Ala.-headquartered newspaper company came after CNHI parent company Raycom Media Inc. said it had entered an agreement to be acquired by Gray Television group, a public company headquartered in Atlanta.

CNHI President and CEO Donna Barrett said the company has retained the Santa Fe, N.M.-based newspaper brokerage firm of Dirks, Van Essen, Murray and April to handle the sale of its newspapers.

“We’re excited to open the next chapter in our commitment to top-flight community journalism,” said Barrett. “We are looking for a transaction or transactions that will carry on CNHI’s rich tradition of public service through award-winning journalism.”

CNHI, founded 20 years ago as Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., has grown from a few community newspapers at the outset to more than 100 papers located in states of the Midwest, Southwest, Southeast and Northeast.

Parent Raycom Media Inc., which owns or operates television stations in 65 markets, acquired CNHI nine months ago.

“As we undertake this exploration process, we cannot say that any particular transaction will or will not take place,” said Barrett. “What we can say is that we will consider various options as we work to find a partner or partners that share our dedication to community newspapers and the vital journalism they produce to serve local audiences.”