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July 23, 2014, 12:22 a.m. EDT

Belo to sell Providence Journal to New Media

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By Josh Beckerman

A.H. Belo Corp. has agreed to sell the Providence Journal newspaper and related assets for $46 million to New Media Investment Group Inc.

The Providence Journal has a daily circulation of about 72,000 and about 96,000 on Sunday.

Belo, which publishes the Dallas Morning News, said in December that it would explore a sale of the Providence Journal. It said a sale would generate proceeds that could be used to invest in or buy advertising and marketing companies.

Belo bought the Providence Journal in a 1997 deal that also included several television stations. The 2008 separation of the company known as Belo Corp. at that time resulted in the creation of separate television and newspaper companies. The broadcaster Belo Corp. was purchased in late 2008 by Gannett Co.

New Media Investment Group launched last year. It combined hundreds of GateHouse Media Inc. publications with the Dow Jones Local Media Group of small newspapers following GateHouse's emergence from bankruptcy.

New Media said Tuesday that the purchase will increase its holding to 451 community publications and 367 related websites, and said the deal will help expand its digital-services business, Propel.

Over the past 10 months, New Media has entered agreements to buy about $151 million of local media assets at an average purchase price-to-Ebitda multiple of 3.3x, the company said.

On July 1, the company said it bought American Consolidated Media Southwest, which operates in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, and Virginia-based Petersburg Progress-Index, for a combined $15.3 million.

The newspaper industry in general has been grappling with declining print advertising.

Write to Josh Beckerman at josh.beckerman@wsj.com

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