Family owners primary sellers in Q1

Majority of transactions are independent owners exiting the business

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The sale of family-owned newspapers represented the bulk of the deals in the first quarter of 2017, with four of the six announced daily newspaper transactions involving a complete exit from the industry by the owner.

The Dix family in Ohio, Crosbie family in Connecticut, Batdorff family in Michigan and Randall family in Maryland sold or agreed to sell all of their newspaper holdings in the first part of the year. A fifth family owner, Bliss Communications, sold a portion of its properties.

The buyers generally were newspaper owners with operations in the region seeking to benefit from increased scale.

The sales are a continuation of a trend in 2016 in which a number of prominent independent owners, including the Simons family in Lawrence, Kan., and the Waters family in Columbia, Mo., decided to sell their newspapers.

Read more from Dirks, Van Essen & Murray

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