Media General Inc. today said it sold the Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, completing its exit from the newspaper industry.
Los Angeles-based private equity investment group Revolution Capital Group purchased the paper and TBO.com for $9.5 million. They will be operated by a newly created local entity called the Tampa Media Group, the companies said.
“This deal gives us the opportunity to do what makes sense for this local market,” Tribune Publisher William Barker said in an article posted on TBO.com reporting the sale. “It gives us the ability to be outwardly focused and not worry about how some larger corporation leverages us.”
Media General will keep WFLA, News Channel 8, its NBC television affiliate, and the newsrooms of WFLA, the Tribune and TBO.com will continue working together on news projects.
The Tribune will reportedly move back-office operations — including human resources accounting and payroll — to the new company in the coming months. Tribune newsroom employees, meantime, will move from the Parker Street location they currently share with WFLA employees to the building next door where the paper’s newsroom had previously operated.
“It’s a bittersweet day for Media General to complete the sale of its last remaining newspaper group,” Marshall N. Morton, president and CEO of Media General said of the company's largest and second-oldest newspaper.
The Tampa Media Group will have 618 employees and will continue to operate the Tribune’s affiliated publications Hernando Today, Highlands Today, Suncoast News, Sunbelt Newspapers and Spanish-language publication Centro, TBO.com said.