Jacksonville media institution sold

The Florida Times-Union, a daily newspaper serving Northeast Florida for 134 years, was sold by Morris Com-munications Co. Aug. 9 to GateHouse Media, a division of New York-based New Media Investment Group.

The Times-Union, with a daily circulation of nearly 45,000 and a Sunday circulation of more than 68,000, was one of 11 dailies Morris sold in the deal, including the St. Augustine Record. The $120 million sale is set to close Oct. 2. Mark Nusbaum, of Avondale, Times-Union media president since 2012, will remain as publisher.

New Media formed in 2013 as a new holding company for GateHouse Media, Inc., which publishes 125 dailies, including nine in Florida.

Morris Communications purchased the Florida Publishing Company – which published the Times-Union, the St. Augustine Record and the Jacksonville Journal – in late 1982 from Seaboard Coastline Railroad, now CSX Corp. Seven years ago the publishing group filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Earlier this year, the company moved page design, copy editing and production to Augusta, Georgia, where Morris is based.

The 50-year-old Times-Union building, which includes administrative offices and printing plant on the 18.84-acre property, remains in the hands of the Morris family, which is looking at development options, including mixed-use with offices, hotel or residential units.

The site has been home to a fertilizer company (1920s), a roller skate complex and the Motor Transit Company in the 1940s, and Jacksonville Coach Company. In the mid-1950s, the site was home to Riverside Chevrolet.

Assessed at $14,259,402, the property was put on the market in June 2016 without an asking price.

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