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Nutting family’s Ogden Newspapers buys Provo Daily Herald from Lee

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Publicly traded Lee Enterprises Inc. has sold the Provo (Utah) Daily Herald and its digital media operations to family-owned Ogden Newspapers. 

The seven-day Daily Herald has a print circulation of approximately 20,000 daily and nearly 27,000 on Sundays. Its website, Heraldextra.com, reaches approximately 700,000 unique visitors each month.

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented Lee in the sale, which closed Aug. 29. Terms were not disclosed.

In its various permutations, the newspaper has bounced between family and corporate ownership throughout its history. The earliest predecessor of the Daily Herald was founded in 1873 under the name Provo Daily Times. The company was purchased in 1926 by James G. Scripps, eldest son of newspaper magnate E.W. Scripps. The Scripps family held the newspaper until the mid-1990s, when it was sold to Pulitzer Newspapers, which held it for a decade. In 2005 it was sold, along with a number of other Pulitzer properties, to Lee Enterprises.

“Provo is a great market, and we’re confident that the new ownership will continue to deliver strong local news and information to the Provo community,” Lee President and CEO Kevin Mowbray said in a statement. 

“We are pleased and proud to have been selected to be the successor owners of the Daily Herald,” Ogden Newspapers President and CEO said. “We believe that newspapers like the Daily Herald and its related digital platforms provide tremendous value both in print and online with trustworthy news reporting and effective advertising. Provo and Utah County is an exceptional and vibrant market.”

Ogden Newspapers is a family-owned media corporation that publishes 40 daily newspapers, weekly newspapers and shoppers located in 14 states, from Florida to upstate New York and as far west as Maui, Hawaii. The company has been headquartered in Wheeling, West Virginia, since 1890.

Lee Enterprises is a provider of local news, information and advertising in its markets, with 45 daily newspapers and a joint interest in four others, growing digital products and nearly 300 specialty publications in 22 states. Lee markets include St. Louis, Mo; Madison, Wis.; Billings, Mont.; Davenport, Iowa, and Tucson, Ariz.

 Lee Common Stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LEE.