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UGA Expert on Sale of Athens Banner-Herald, Morris Communications

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The Athens-Banner Herald newspaper and its parent company, Morris Communications is being sold to New Media Investment Group.

Dr. Keith Herndon is a professor in Grady College and Director of the Cox Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership.

He says the move is par for the course nationally.

“It’s a continuation of the trends that are happening in the business throughout the United States, the newspaper industry continues to consolidate,” according to Herndon.

Herndon says in order for the industry to remain profitable, companies around the country have to eliminate duplication of services.

“In order to have any chance at maintaining long-term profitability, the industry is having to essentially combine itself so that redundant headquarter staff, redundant financial staff, redundant editorial staff, publishing, and the printing facilities can be consolidated."

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Herndon says the $120 million price tag showed a turnaround of sorts for the company.

Morris also owns other Georgia papers in Augusta and Savannah. Herndon says the newspaper industry will have less than 175,000 employees, compared to over 450,000 workers in the early 90s.

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