Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers acquires Sonora Union Democrat

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A federal bankruptcy judge in Oregon has approved the sale of The Union Democrat (Sonora, Calif.) and its downtown building to Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers for $1.15 million.

Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, N.M., represented Western Communications in the transaction.

The twice-weekly Union Democrat marks its 165th year this month. It has operated from its historic Washington Street building since 1965 and had been owned by Western Communications since 1998.

Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers and its affiliates operate newspapers in several states. Their California newspapers include the Bakersfield Californian, Porterville Recorder, Marysville Appeal-Democrat, Imperial Valley Press, Lodi News-Sentinel and the Antelope Valley Press.

Earlier this month, Western Communications sold the La Grande (Ore.) Observer and the Baker City (Ore.) Herald to EO Media Group, and the Brookings (Ore.) Curry Coastal Pilot and Crescent City (Calif.) Del Norte Triplicate to Country Media. EO Media Group was also approved as the buyer for Western Communication's flagship Bend (Ore.) Bulletin and the Redmond (Ore.) Spokesman.

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