Metro Market Media, a new company owned by Charles Hill Morris Jr., announced today that it has acquired The Times, Forsyth County News, Dawson County News and their affiliated websites and print publications.
The three North Georgia properties previously were owned by Morris Multimedia Inc. and an affiliated company, Swartz-Morris Media Inc.
The transaction extends to the third generation a legacy of newspaper and media company ownership by the Morris family. Charles H. Morris Sr. is CEO and president of Morris Multimedia Inc.
Morris Jr. has been regional publisher of the three media properties for the past 12 years. Metro Market Media is headquartered in Gainesville.
“With the purchase of the media companies in these three exceptional markets, we plan to position ourselves for longtime success in the communities we serve. Having them under a single ownership will allow us to be more efficient and customer oriented in everything we do, while continuing to provide quality journalism” Morris Jr. said.
“We’ve got 120 really dedicated, exceptional employees who are committed to serving their communities with quality journalism and great marketing and advertising values. Our goal is to give them the resources they need to serve readers and customers, and a firm financial foundation on which to operate,” he said.
In addition to his ownership of the new company, Morris Jr. will continue to serve in a leadership capacity with Morris Multimedia Inc., for which he oversees operations in Tennessee, California and the Caribbean, as well as the company’s billboard advertising business.
“This is a family transaction that will allow us to have an affiliated relationship with MMI, while at the same time establishing ourselves as an independent company with these three properties, all of which have great potential,” Morris Jr. said.
The Times and its affiliated products were acquired from Gannett by MMI in 2004. The Forsyth and Dawson companies were owned by the New York Times Company prior to being purchased by MMI in 1994.
“I’m very proud of my son for what he has accomplished in our company. He is a respected newspaper publisher who has served as president of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, which represents newspapers in 14 southern states,” said Charles H. Morris Sr.
The change of ownership is effective immediately.