The Baker Family announces sale of Eugene Register-Guard

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Tony Baker has announced that his family has entered into a definitive agreement to sell substantially all of the assets of RG Media Company to GateHouse Media, a subsidiary of New Media Investment Group Inc. RG Media Company publishes the 46,000-circulation Eugene (Ore.) Register-Guard.

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, N.M., is representing RG Media Company in the transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Guard was founded in 1867 by J.B. Alexander. It went through several owners before it was acquired by Alton F. Baker in 1927. Three years later, Baker bought the competing Register and merged the two newspapers into the Eugene Register-Guard. The Register-Guard is a frequent award winner from the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1998.

The Register-Guard is the largest seven-day home delivery newspaper in Oregon. Its companion website averages more than 600,000 monthly unique users and 2.5 million pageviews each month. The company also operates a growing commercial print division.

Tony Baker, chairman of RG Media said, "We've come to the realization that in today's business environment it's increasingly difficult for a stand-alone, family-owned daily newspaper to compete successfully. Larger media companies have the necessary resources and are better suited to adapt to the fast-changing dynamics of the newspaper industry."

In seeking a buyer "who exhibits our long-standing commitment to quality community journalism," Baker said, "GateHouse has the experience and expertise required that will enable The R-G to continue to serve our market in a professional and responsible manner."

Jason Taylor, president of the Western U.S. Division of GateHouse Media, said, "We are grateful to the Baker family for the trust they have placed in GateHouse to continue their legacy of providing strong community journalism. Eugene is a vibrant community that is ideal for the GateHouse portfolio."

"We look forward to welcoming The Register-Guard, its employees, and Eugene into the GateHouse family."

GateHouse, Eugene

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