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Harte-Hanks Officer to Buy Firm's 4 San Diego Papers

November 21, 1986|BILL RITTER | San Diego County Business Editor

SAN DIEGO — Harte-Hanks Communications' four San Diego newspaper operations will be bought by a company executive under a two-pronged deal announced Thursday to sell 25 Harte-Hanks newspapers.

The La Jolla Light, Coronado Journal, Star-News Publications and Publishers Offset will be sold to Tucker Sutherland, who has been president of Harte-Hanks Newspapers the last three years.

In a complicated deal, Sutherland bought an option on the four San Diego divisions and five others from Worrell Enterprises, a Charlottesville, Va.-based multimedia company that on Thursday signed a letter of intent to purchase 25 newspaper-related divisions and three shopper publishing divisions from Harte-Hanks.

A definitive agreement is expected in the next month, according to Bob Marbut, president and chief executive officer of San Antonio-based Harte-Hanks.

Earlier this month, Harte-Hanks announced a restructuring that included plans to sell 56 of its smaller media operations. At the time, Sutherland said he would step down as Harte-Hanks Newspaper president, form his own media company and become a bidder for some of the papers.

Sutherland could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Phyllis Pfeiffer, publisher of the La Jolla Light, said she was "very, very pleased" with Sutherland's purchase agreement.

"It will mean very little, if any, change for our operation," she said. Sutherland has overseen the San Diego operations for the last three years, and "if he wanted any changes, they would have happened," Pfeiffer said.

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