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Times Mirror Corp. Sells Denver Post for $95 Million

September 14, 1987|From Reuters

Times Mirror Corp., publisher of the Los Angeles Times, said today it has agreed to sell the loss-making Denver Post newspaper for $95 million to an affiliate of the MediaNews Group, which last week acquired the Houston Post.

It was the second deal in 15 months involving Times Mirror and MediaNews, a fast-growing Dallas-based newspaper empire. In June, 1986, MediaNews, which is run by William Dean Singleton and Richard B. Scudder, acquired the Dallas Times-Herald from Times Mirror for $110 million.

The Denver Post, the No. 2 newspaper in the Denver market behind the Rocky Mountain News, will be acquired by an affiliate of MediaNews called Media General Inc. Times Mirror will retain ownership of the Post's downtown land and buildings, currently valued at about $20 million.

The Post has a daily circulation of 230,000 compared to 346,000 for the Rocky Mountain News. But it leads the News on Sunday with a circulation of 415,000 against 380,000.

The deal is in keeping with Singleton's strategy of buying ailing second-placed newspapers. On Thursday, he bought the Houston Post, which lags behind the Houston Chronicle, from Toronto Sun Publishing Co. for $150 million. The Dallas Times-Herald is runner-up to the Dallas Morning News.

With the addition of the Denver Post, Singleton, a 36-year-old native Texan, now owns 28 daily and 28 non-daily publications.

Singleton appears to face another tough challenge with the Denver Post. Robert Erburu, Times Mirror's chairman, said in a statement that the paper had experienced significant losses in recent years due to the economic slump in the Denver area, which has reduced advertising revenues. The losses came despite what he called "impressive gains" in circulation.

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