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Herald-Times, Other Local Papers Sold To GateHouse Media

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The front page of the Herald-Times for Monday, January 28. (Becca Costello, WFIU/WTIU News)

Last updated Jan. 29, 10:40 a.m.

The company that owns the Bloomington Herald-Times and nine other newspapers in southern Indiana has sold its publishing department to GateHouse Media.

The Herald-Times says Schurz Communications Board Chair Scott Schurz told staff Monday morning that GateHouse Media will take over operations beginning Friday.

Schurz bought the H-T in 1966. It owns 13 publications, including the Hoosier Times group of papers which has publications in Clay, Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan, Orange, Owen and Putnam counties.

Cory Bollinger is a publisher for The Hoosier Times and the Vice President of Schurz Communication.

He says the acquisition will benefit both Schurz and GateHouse.

“They bring some tools to us to the Schurz group that’s very desirable. And what I heard from GateHouse is that they really like the markets that we serve,” he says.

The transition of ownership coincides with HT editor Bob Zaltsberg’s retirement this Friday.

Zaltsberg says he thinks GateHouse will encourage the H-T to put more focus on digital publishing and media.

"Everything points to a transition toward digital, and you know, we’ve done it, but we’ve been a little slow," he says. "I think the new company is going to be putting a lot of pressure on doing that and I don’t think that’s the wrong thing to do by any means."

Bollinger says in switching ownership to GateHouse, a number employees will not be rehired. But he says it's a small percentage of total employees. 

Zaltsberg says layoffs could be announced by the end of the week.

GateHouse Media owns 555 newspapers and now has newspapers in 38 states. GateHouse calls itself one of the largest publishers of local print and online media in the U.S.

Schurz recently began its technology focus – purchasing four broadband companies last year and a cloud company.

Details about the sale, including the purchase price, have not been disclosed.

This post has been updated. Sara Wittmeyer contributed to this report.

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