The Brownsville Herald, along with the rest of the Texas daily and weekly newspapers owned by Freedom Communications Inc., has been sold to AIM Media Texas LLC, a company that will be headquartered in McAllen and was put together specifically to buy the papers. AIM Media Texas is led by Jeremy Halbreich.
The papers, besides the Herald, involved in the sale are the Valley Morning Star in Harlingen, El Nuevo Heraldo in Brownsville, the Mid-Valley Town Crier in Weslaco, The Monitor in McAllen, Coastal Currents at South Padre Island and The Odessa American. Some of these newspapers have Spanish-language sister publications (Read our recent report on the Texas Hispanic market).
The sale will close in 30 days, according to news releases issued by Freedom Communications and AIM Media Texas. Financial details of the deal were not released in accordance with an agreement between the parties.
The new owners said all current employees of the purchased papers will remain in their respective positions.
“The attractiveness of these properties is entirely due to their strong performance and the hard work of their associates,” Freedom CEO Mitch Stern said. “The sale furthers our goal of providing value to our shareholders while, at the same time, increasing the financial strength of Freedom.”
Mark McEachen, Freedom’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer, said the papers will be in good hands.
“The leadership of AIM Media Texas has an intimate understanding of the Texas media landscape and is acutely aware of the key role newspapers play in the lives of the communities they serve,” he said “They share our view that a newspaper must be strong in its dedication to localism by providing accurate and timely information and by serving as an active steward of the values of the community.”
AIM Texas is headed by Chairman and CEO Jeremy L. Halbreich, who has a long history as a newspaper executive. He previously has been chairman and CEO of Chicago-based Sun-Times Media LLC; former founder, chairman, president and CEO of American Consolidated Media; and former president and general manager of The Dallas Morning News.
AIM Media Texas is an acquisition entity formed by Halbreich for the purpose of purchasing the print and online publishing assets in Texas from Freedom Communications. The new operating company’s headquarters will be in McAllen and it will be managed by AIM Media Texas Management of Dallas, where Halbreich and AIM Media Texas President and Chief Operating Officer William R. “Rick” Starks will be based.
After emerging from bankruptcy, Freedom has sold off its television division and is starting to do the same with its newspapers. As of this transaction, the company still owns about 100 publications, including 24 daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, magazines and other specialty publications. According to different reports Freedom is close to sell the Orange County Register to the San Diego Union Tribune.