The First Step On The Rest of the Journey

Sometimes a press release just isn’t enough to say what has happened.

Or can do justice on how important this new development truly is to our company.

That’s the case with today’s announcement that MediaNews Group and 21st Century Media (formerly the Journal Register Company) are merging.

What started as a transformation journey at 21st Century in January of 2010 for what became the Digital First Media leadership team is just about complete.

Now under Digital First Management, we will have a single local media powerhouse with 67 million customers coupled with a stand-alone, innovative digital division, Digital First Ventures, and its rapidly growing portfolio of partnerships.

In the past four years, we spun out a lot of our real estate into a separate company and shed many printing plants as we concentrated on the future and what we do best and link to the rest.

The soon-to-be-merged media company (we expect the deal to close in the next 30 days) will this year make more EBITDA than the combined companies did four years ago but it has been one very bumpy road. Very bumpy.

More importantly, we proved you can teach an old dog new tricks and what was a trickle of digital ad revenue four years ago is expected be more than $180 million by the end of this year. Some of that huge gain has been driven by innovative start-ups like our AdTaxi product now operating in four countries

None of this could have been achieved without you the employees who worked through so many difficult initiatives so we could have this moment – the first step on the rest of the journey.

Until next time,

John.

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