The Journal Star reports this afternoon that their parent company, Copley Press, is selling all its newspapers in Illinois, which includes the Peoria Journal Star, Galesburg Register-Mail, Springfield’s State Journal-Register, and the Lincoln Courier:
Journal Star publisher John McConnell revealed the news to employees at a 1 p.m. companywide meeting today.
Copley said in a midday release that those papers, along with three in Ohio, will be subject to “possible mergers, sales or other transactions.”
[...] A company spokesman said the company’s decision to sell the Illinois and Ohio properties was affected by both a contraction in the newspaper business and by a looming inheritance tax related to the death of Helen Copley in 2004. Her sole surviving son David is CEO of the company.
[...] The announcement was met with stunned silence by Journal Star employees, many of whom recalled hearing about 11 years ago that the Journal Star, after more than a century of family ownership, was for sale. It was eventually acquired by Copley.
Wow. I don’t know what to say, except that I sincerely hope the employees are treated well.