LIMA — A company with a track record running local newspapers purchased The Englewood Independent and other newspapers in Ohio and West Virginia from Civitas Media.
AIM Midwest Operating purchased the business and its property. The company, which also owns newspapers in Indiana and Texas, is led by chairman and CEO Jeremy L. Halbreich, a Dallas-based newspaper executive.
Locally, the purchase includes the Vandalia Drummer News, the Huber Heights Courier, as well as publications in Troy, Piqua, Sidney, Tipp City, Greenville, Xenia, Beavercreek, and Fairborn.
Terms of the deal weren’t released. The transaction closed this morning. All employees at the affected newspapers keep their jobs.
“This is an exciting announcement. I’ve met with most of our employees and they’re excited to be joining AIM Media,” said Joshua Byers, publisher of the Englewood Independent. “AIM is a company that has demonstrated a strong commitment to quality journalism, strong local community involvement and excellent value for advertisers.”
The move ends five years of ownership by Civitas Media and Versa Capital Management, the investment bankers behind Civitas. The company purchased the newspaper in May 2012, ending many years of ownership by Brown Publishing.
“These publications and the service they provide their respective communities in Ohio and West Virginia represent a great testimony to the hard work, dedication and true community service established and maintained by Civitas over recent years in conjunction with their talented staff of dedicated employees,” said Halbreich.
The Englewood Independent will continue to operate its local operations out of its office at 694 W. National Road in Vandalia.
AIM Media Texas purchased several former Freedom Communications newspapers in 2012. AIM Media Indiana purchased six newspapers in Indiana in 2015, including the former Freedom newspaper in Seymour, Ind.
Halbreich formerly served as the chairman and CEO of Sun-Times Media LLC in Chicago, leading it through voluntary bankruptcy proceedings and eventual sale to private investors. He also founded and later sold American Consolidated Media LP.
Earlier in his career, the Harvard-graduate Halbreich worked for 24 years at the Dallas Morning News, including 10 years as president and general manager.
“I am pleased to have AIM, a first rate organization, run by such high-quality and respected media industry leaders as Jeremy Halbreich and Rick Starks, acquire Civitas’ Ohio and West Virginia properties, said Civitas Media CEO Lior Yahalomi. “I also want to express my thanks to all of our Civitas Ohio and West Virginia employees for their long-term, loyal and conscientious service. I wish them all the best as they transition to be an integral part of the AIM organization and culture.”