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GateHouse Media to buy RBJ

The Rochester Business Journal Inc. has agreed to be acquired by GateHouse Media New York Holdings Inc.

Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close Sept. 30, were not disclosed.

“I am excited that GateHouse sees the value in what we’ve created,” said Susan Holliday, RBJ president and publisher. “They are a growing company doing many exciting and innovative things, and I believe they will be a good fit for the RBJ organization.”

Holliday, who has been RBJ’s principal owner since 1988, will not remain with the company.

“I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life,” she said. “Hopefully, where one door closes, another one opens.”

Holliday has long been active in the Rochester community. She currently serves as chairman of the University of Rochester Medical Center board and is a Rochester Institute of Technology trustee. She also is a director of Five Star Bank and is a board member of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and the Healthcare Trustees of New York State.

“I enjoy serving on both civic and corporate boards, helping companies to grow,” she said. “I am interested in continuing that kind of involvement.”

The buyer is a unit of New Media Investment Group Inc., which trades on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: NEWM).

Perinton-based GateHouse Media owns over 630 community and business publications, including 125 daily newspapers—the Columbus Dispatch, Providence Journal and 2016 Pulitzer Prize winner Sarasota Herald-Tribune among them—and more than 530 local affiliated websites. In the Rochester area, its properties include the Daily Messenger in Canandaigua, Messenger Post weeklies and Daily Record in Rochester.

RBJ will become part of BridgeTower Media, the B2B media arm of GateHouse Media.

In addition, GateHouse operates a third division—Propel Business Services—that provides marketing and general business support to small and midsize firms.

In a meeting with RBJ employees Wednesday, GateHouse officials said all staffers would be retained and the editorial mission of the paper would not change.

Gatehouse Media CEO Kirk Davis said he had “gained a strong appreciation for what an asset the RBJ has become for the region. (Susan Holliday) has done a truly impressive job of building one of the finest regional business publications in the country.”

Added Davis: “We know the importance of being a trusted source for intelligent business reporting. We are committed to that.”

For more on this story, see Friday’s print edition of the Rochester Business Journal.

(c) 2016 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail [email protected]

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