Because of difficult credit markets, Landmark Media Enterprises, LLC announced Thursday that it is suspending the process of selling its remaining businesses, which include The Springfield Sun and 18 other Kentucky newspapers.
The process was launched in January and led to the sale in September of The Weather Channel Companies and some smaller sales. Landmark announced earlier this month that its agreement to sell WTVF-TV in Nashville was canceled because the buyer lost its financing.
Frank Batten Jr., Landmark’s chairman and CEO, said, “We are in the midst of an extraordinary economic downturn. The credit crisis has made it virtually impossible for companies to obtain bank commitments to help finance acquisitions. And the recession has reduced revenue and earnings and made it very difficult to value a business. As a result, we have decided to largely suspend the sales process. We are proud of our businesses and confident about their future – and will not sell them at a time of uncertainty at depressed values.”
Batten, a former Elizabethtown resident, said that Landmark will operate its businesses for several years before re-instituting the sales process, although it will consider offers during the interim.
The Landmark holdings are Dominion Enterprises, The Virginian-Pilot Media Companies and Continental Broadband plus newspapers, TV stations and interactive businesses elsewhere in the U.S.
The company’s community newspaper division, headquartered in Shelbyville, operates publications in 14 states. In addition to The Springfield Sun, Kentucky businesses include The Lebanon Enterprise, The News-Enterprise in Elizabethttown, The Kentucky Standard in Bardstown, the Central Kentucky News-Journal in Campbellsville, several real estate publications and The Cats’ Pause, a sports publication focused on University of Kentucky athletics, as well as sports publications focusing on major universities across the nation.