Southern Brooklyn

Bay News Parent Company Puts Local Papers On The Chopping Block

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The 1733 Sheepshead Bay Road headquarters of the Bay News, after it moved downtown.

News Corp. is looking to sell off its Brooklyn-based newspaper portfolio, a publishing group that includes the Bay News.

The company began quietly seeking out potential buyers for its Community Newspaper Group, the publisher of 11 community weeklies ranging from the Bay News in Southern Brooklyn to the Brooklyn Paper downtown, as well as papers in Queens and the Bronx, reports Capital New York.

Sources could not tell Capital whether the operation is profitable, but did note that circulation stands at 250,000 across its 11 titles and there has been a steep drop in classified advertising and circulation over the last decade.

News Corp. owns the Wall Street Journal and New York Post, and purchased two newspaper chains in Brooklyn and Queens in 2006, forming CNG. It bought Brooklyn Paper in 2009.

Bay News began in 1945 and, through expansion and acquisition, grew to become the largest weekly community newspaper chain in New York City, known as Courier-Life Publications, with the Bay News as its flagship paper.

Bay News celebrated its 65th anniversary in 2010 with a special edition issue. In self-congratulatory pieces penned by the newly-installed editors from Staten Island and the Bronx, they boasted of their accomplishments and noted, “We’ll be around forever” and “We’ve always been the big cheese around here, well before blogs and their like were on the horizon.”

Yet, just one year earlier, the company vacated its 1733 Sheepshead Bay Road headquarters and moved to the MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn.

And two years after that declaration, executives at the company consolidated several of its Southern Brooklyn publications, including the Bay News, Bay Ridge Courier, Kings Courier and Flatbush Life, into a single weekly edition that represented an overall cut in circulation.

News Corp. declined to comment to Capital on the decision to sell. Capital notes that the June resignation of Senior Vice President Les Goodstein, who had been running CNG, indicates it has been in the works for “some time.”

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