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Newspaper publisher GateHouse Media, Inc. is buying the Daily Messenger of Canandaigua and its stable of 10 suburban weeklies serving Rochester’s suburbs for an undisclosed price, according to John Cribb, of Cribb, Greene & Associates, who represented the seller in the transaction.

GateHouse, which announced the buyout late Tuesday, moved its headquarters this summer from the Chicago region to Fairport, a Rochester suburb, and became a publicly traded company last month. It owns 423 community publications in 18 states, including The Leader newspaper in Corning and The Evening Tribune in Hornell, as well as 230 related websites reaching about 9 million people.

Messenger Post Newspapers, which employs 176 people, was put up for sale in August after drawing unsolicited offers from other media companies, publisher George Ewing Jr. said. The Daily Messenger, bought by Ewing’s father in 1959, has a circulation of more than 13,000.

Ewing has been publisher and owner since 1992. His family bought nine of the weekly newspapers in 1996 and added a 10th in 1999. The combined distribution of the weeklies is just under 100,000.

“The decision to sell our newspapers after 47 years of Ewing ownership was not taken lightly,” Ewing said. “I am confident GateHouse has the desire and resources to continue what we have established and expand Messenger Post Newspapers to even better serve Rochester and our region.”

“This acquisition fits extremely well with our strategy of acquiring dominant local media franchises that are accretive to free cash flow per share,” GateHouse Chief Executive Michael Reed said in a statement.

Cribb, Greene & Associates is an eighty-three year old newspaper brokerage firm with offices in Bozeman, Mont. and Charlottesville, Va.

Published November 22, 2006

Canandaigua, NY