Newspapers serving New South Wales Central West and Hilltops regional and rural communities are set to change ownership after ACM agreed to terms to sell seven titles to Provincial Press Group (PPG).
Publications to change hands include paid weekly mastheads Parkes Champion-Post, Forbes Advocate, Canowindra News, The Grenfell Record, Cowra Guardian, Boorowa News and Young Witness.
ACM managing director Tony Kendall said the company had engaged with PPG after enquiries regarding NSW publications outside the company’s key markets.
“Whilst we were not actively looking to sell these titles we felt the proposed transaction was in the best interest of these publications. Our staff do an amazing job in these regions and I am confident they will continue to serve their communities well under new ownership.”
Staff working on the tiles, which do not include ACM’s regional dailies, have been briefed on the proposed sale with consultations underway ahead of the anticipated completion of the transaction in early May.
The acquisition of the mastheads will grow PPG’s North East Media’s division of current 16 newspaper and magazine titles including triweekly Wangaratta Chronicle; it follows the purchase last year of the Cooma Snowy Monaro Post and Jindabyne Summit Sun.
Led by Managing Director Hartley Higgins, PPG will be joined in publishing the titles in a new trading entity Regional Media Corp, by Narromine Star owners Lucie Peart and Tim Pankhurst.
Regional Media Corp CEO Edward Higgins said his company was pleased to be the future custodian of the regions’ long-standing newspapers that had served their respective communities for many years.
“We are impressed with the regions’ progressive municipalities and look forward to engaging with all communities covered to deliver an effective local print and digital media service,” he said.
“Our aim is to provide strong local news content that reflects each of the communities’ aspirations, and promotes growth and jobs.”