Owner of Indy-area newspapers merging with broadcast firm

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A nationwide media group that owns more than a dozen newspapers in Indiana—including publications in Zionsville, Avon, Lebanon and Anderson—has announced that it is merging with a media firm with large holdings in the broadcast medium.

Under the terms of the deal, Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. will become a subsidiary of Raycom Media Inc. Both firms are headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama.

CNHI owns more than 110 newspapers, websites and publications in 22 states. In central Indiana, they include The Zionsville Times Sentinel, Hendricks County Flyer (Avon), The Lebanon Reporter and The Herald Bulletin (Anderson).

Raycom Media owns or operates 65 television and two radio stations in 20 states.

The merger is expected to be completed Sept 29.

"Quality local journalism is the foundation of Raycom Media and CNHI," Raycom President and CEO Pat LaPlatney said in the statement. The two said the merger will help both companies strengthen their local content and their finances to ensure "future growth and superior service to our clients and audience."

Donna Barrett, president and CEO of CNHI, said the merger "marks an important milestone in our history as we combine two award-winning media organizations with the common mission of delivering quality local news and information across print, broadcast and digital platforms."

Raycom's stations cover more than 16 percent of U.S. television households. Most of its stations in are in southern states, but it also owns stations in Ohio and Indiana and as far west as Honolulu, Hawaii.

In seven cases where markets for Raycom Media broadcast stations and CNHI newspapers overlap, the newspaper properties will be sold to a third party, CNHI said in a statement.

Raycom has stations in Indianapolis, Evansville and Louisville. A CNHI representative did not immediately return a call from IBJ about whether any of the Indiana newspapers would be sold to a third party.

Among CNHI's largest newspapers: The Eagle-Tribune of North Andover, Massachusetts; The Joplin Globe in Missouri; and The Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Here are its newspapers and other publications located in Indiana:

•   The Herald Bulletin, Anderson
•   Goshen News, Goshen
•   Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg
•   The News and Tribune, Jeffersonville
•   Kokomo Tribune, Kokomo
•   The Lebanon Reporter, Lebanon
•   The Pharos-Tribune, Logansport
•   The Tribune Star, Terre Haute
•   Washington Times Herald, Washington
•   Rushville Republican, Rushville
•   Hendricks County Flyer, Avon
•   Batesville Herald-Tribune, Batesville
•   The Zionsville Times Sentinel, Zionsville

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