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Media merger puts upstate papers at risk

Jul 24, 2018 6:45 am

Brian Nearing is reporting for the Times Union five local newspapers in upstate New York could be sold as part of a multi-billion dollar media merger announced in June. The deal between Raycom Media and Gray Television Inc. is expected to create the country's third-largest owner of television stations. After the merger, the combined company will control television stations that cover nearly a quarter of all U.S. households. However, Gray is not interested in Raycom's Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., which owns more than 140 community newspapers nationwide, so Raycom intends to "sell or spin off" those publications. Upstate papers that could be affected by that sale include: the Daily Star, in Oneonta, Otsego County; Cooperstown Crier, in Otsego County; Plattsburgh Press-Republican, in Plattsburgh; Niagara Gazette, in Niagara Falls; and the Lockport Union-Sun and Journal in Niagara County. Community Newspaper Holdings merged with Raycom less than a year ago, in September 2017. At the time Raycom CEO Pat LaPlatney said the transaction would "strengthen both organizations' local content-generation efforts, as well as monetization capabilities, while positioning the combined entity for future growth and superior service to our clients and audience." Read the full story in at the Times Union.