The McClatchy Co. made its first newspaper purchase in a decade Wednesday, announcing it has acquired the Herald-Sun of Durham, N.C.
Sacramento-based McClatchy, which owns The Bee and other papers, said it bought the Herald-Sun and related digital assets from Paxton Media Group of Paducah, Ky. The price was not disclosed.
McClatchy hadn’t bought any newspapers since its blockbuster 2006 takeover of Knight Ridder Inc. That acquisition left the company deeply in debt just as the newspaper industry entered a significant downturn. While it has made some digital investments in recent years, McClatchy has spent much of its spare cash in the past decade paying down its debt while navigating the difficult transition to a digital-first media world.
The Durham paper, a daily, gives McClatchy an opportunity to strengthen its presence in the Carolinas. The company already owns the News & Observer in nearby Raleigh, along with the Charlotte Observer and five papers in South Carolina. The president and publisher of the News & Observer, Sara Glines, will oversee operations at the Durham paper.
The purchase was announced after the stock market closed. McClatchy shares closed at $13.42, down 14 cents, on the New York Stock Exchange.