UPDATE: Freedom Communications fire sale rolls on



There really is an everything-must-go dynamic at Freedom Communications, and it's only further proven by the sale, announced today, of the company's Texas assets to AIM Media Texas. These include the Brownsville Herald, El Nuevo Heraldo, the Harlingen Valley Morning Star, the Monitor in McAllen, the Odessa American and the Mid Valley Town Crier in Weslaco.

"The attractiveness of these properties is entirely due to their strong performance and the hard work of their associates," says Freedom CEO Mitch Stern in a news release. "The sale furthers our goal of providing value to our shareholders while at the same time increasing the financial strength of Freedom."

Apparently shareholders' value is increased by selling strong-performing properties. Weird. Freedom's creditors must really want to exit the news business. Anyway, here's the company's flagship paper, the Orange County Register — reportedly also in negotiations to be sold — on the transaction:

AIM Media Texas is a new entity created for the purchase of Freedom's Texas properties. Jeremy L. Halbreich, chairman and chief executive, is the former president and general manager of the Dallas Morning News.

More recently he was the chairman and chief executive of Sun-Times Media LLC, which owned the Chicago Sun-Times. Prior to that, he headed Texas-based American Consolidated Media, which owns newspapers and other publications in nine states.

——— ORIGINAL POST: May 17, 9:34 A.M. ———

Freedom Communications, the parent company of the Gazette, has issued a press release announcing it sold four more of its newspapers to an affiliate of Philadelphia-based private equity firm Versa Capital Management.

It has reached agreement to sell the Telegraph in Alton, IL, the Journal-Courier in Jacksonville, IL, the Sedalia Democrat in Sedalia, MO and the Lima News in Lima, OH ...

The transaction, terms of which were not disclosed, is expected to close within the next thirty days. Substantially all current employees will transition to the new company.

"With their commitment to providing the accurate and timely information that their communities want and deserve, these properties showcase, through the hard work of their associates, what community journalism is all about. We believe that commitment and tradition will be carried on by the new ownership," said Freedom CEO Mitch Stern.

Recently, Freedom made news when it was revealed it's likely in talks to sell its flagship paper: the Orange County Register.

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