Rick and Debbie Davis, owners for 21 years of The Shopper, New Bern, NC, and eight area community newspapers, announced Monday, August 2, 2004, the sale of the company to Freedom Communications, Inc.
“Debbie and I are very excited about the future for the company and the next level of growth that Freedom Newspapers can provide,” said Rick Davis. “We are proud of our business and felt that it is a good time to make a change. This is an excellent opportunity for our staff.”
Freedom Communications also owns the daily Sun Journal in New Bern. “We’ve had our eye on The Shopper for 20 years,” said Jon Segal, President of Freedom, based in Irvine, CA. Segal is a former publisher of the Sun Journal. “This is our first acquisition since our own reorganization. I hope it signals we’re back in business as a growing company,” Segal said of Freedom, which owns 28 daily and 37 weekly newspapers across the country, including 11 in North Carolina, as well as television stations and assorted interactive media.
In addition to The Shopper, the acquisition includes the Taberna Tribune, Greenbrier Gazette, The Fairfield Harbour Beacon, Trent Woods Times, the Pines’ Perspective and River Bender in Craven County and in Carteret County, Sound Waves for Brandywine Bay and the Shoreline for Pine Noll Shores.
Gary Greene of Cribb & Associates’ Charlottesville, VA, office represented the Davis family in the transaction.