Many U.S. Legal Newspapers Among Group Acquired By Japanese Company SoftBank

Thirteen regional U.S. legal newspapers are among a group of newspapers that have been acquired by SoftBank Group Corp., the Japanese multi-national that also owns Sprint and that is known for its investments in the technology industry.

SoftBank has purchased GateHouse Media, a company that owns over 500 weekly and daily newspapers, the Boston Business Journal reports. GateHouse owns BridgeTower Media, the subsidiary it formed in August 2016 after it acquired The Dolan Company, a publisher of legal and business newspapers all across the U.S., in December 2015.

BridgeTower’s legal newspapers include all of the Lawyers Weekly newspapers — which includes papers in Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Virginia — as well as Minnesota Lawyer, The Daily Record in Maryland, The Daily Record in New York, The Journal Record in Oklahoma, The Mecklenburg Times in North Carolina and the Wisconsin Law Journal.

BridgeTower also publishes several business, construction and real estate newspapers.

The head of BridgeTower’s legal division, Stephen Lincoln, is a longtime legal publishing executive who was formerly chief operating officer at Today’s General Counsel and who held several leadership roles at ALM, including publisher of both The National Law Journal and the New York Law Journal.

Kirk Davis, the CEO of GateHouse, told the Boston Business Journal that he did not anticipate much changing for the GateHouse Properties.

(Full disclosure: I serve as executive director of and lobbyist for the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association, whose membership includes many GateHouse newspapers, and, earlier in my career, I was an editor and publisher for both Lawyers Weekly and Dolan Media.)

Posted in:
Updated:
  • MM

    Wait a minute here. Are you sure Bob?.
    Softbank recently bought Fortress Investment Group,, a private equity firm. As i read it,Fortress is just an ADVISOR AND MANAGER to New Media Investment Group (for which they get paid handsomely
    http://ir.newmediainv.com/Cache/c22674650.html (the public company that owns Gatehouse Media – the publisher of several hundred hundred newspapers and digital publishers) New Media Investment Group went public in 2013 and became a separate entity, Bob.
    In the 4th quarter of 2015, Gatehouse bought Dolan for $35 million and changed the name to Bridgetower.
    In the most recent 10K- it reads “As of December 25, 2016, Fortress and its affiliates owned approximately 1.3% of the Company’s outstanding stock.”
    http://ir.newmediainv.com/Cache/c38162936.html

    So stay with me here, Bob.
    1.) The old Dolan (the pubs you referenced) is owned by Gatehouse.
    2.) Gatehouse is owned by New Media Investment Group
    3.) New Media is a public company spun out by a unit of Fortress 3 years ago
    4.) Fortress advisies and manages New Media
    5.) Softbank has purchased Fortress
    6.) BUT Neither Fortress nor now Softbank owns New Media and thus your story might need some editing.