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Sale of Herald-Dispatch newspaper finalized

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Champion Industries has finalized the sale of the Huntington Herald-Dispatch newspaper.

Marshall Reynolds, chairman and CEO of Champion, sold the company to his son, Doug Reynolds, a Democratic member of the House of Delegates from Cabell County for $10 million. The sale was finalized on Friday.

The company bought the newspaper for $77 million in 2007.

Doug Reynolds said Tuesday he is a shareholder of HD Media Company, which was formed to purchase the newspaper.

"I think it's a great company with a credible history in the city of Huntington and a great investment," he said.

In 2007, Champion purchased the Herald-Dispatch from New York-based GateHouse Media for $77 million. The purchase, made with borrowed money, created a financial burden for Champion, as it was $10 million higher than its total assets at the time.

Earlier this year, Champion received a notice of default from Fifth Third Bank on the $70 million loan the company used to buy the newspaper, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

On April 30, Champion had about $36.5 million of interest-bearing debt, meaning it had paid about 61 percent of its debt from purchasing the newspaper, a filing with the commission states. HD Media assumed all of the paper's debts.  Huntington-based Champion Industries, a commercial printing and business furniture supplier, will still publish the newspaper, Reynolds said.


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