According to multiple sources, the Houston Community Newspaper chain has been sold to a Nevada-based company that currently operates a small group of community newspapers in Arizona.
The chain of 26 Houston-area newspapers, as well as its online component YourHoustonNews.com, has reportedly been purchased by 10/13 Communications.
Multiple messages for representatives with 10/13 Communications, as well as for officials with ASP Westward, the parent company of HCN, have not been returned.
A representative for American Securities, which also had an ownership stake in HCN, said the company “had no comment at this time” regarding the sale.
While company officials have been tight-lipped, employees of HCN have been informed of the sale, including a number whose positions have been eliminated. According to informed sources, the new ownership will be looking at further reductions in news operations, including the elimination or consolidation of some of the chain’s community-based newspapers.
According to its website, 10/13 Communications currently publishes three community newspapers in the Phoenix area and one in Tucson. Additionally, the company operates the AZ Interactive Media Group, which specializes in marketing strategies and direct mail.
Last February, 10/13 Communications announced the purchase of Star Community Newspapers, publisher of 15 Dallas area community newspapers.
The corporate office for 10/13 Communications is listed as being in Reno, Nev. A message left with the receptionist at the corporate office has not been returned, nor have messages for 10/13 representatives reportedly working from the offices of the Conroe Courier newspaper.
In the Katy area, HCN publishes The Rancher, formerly called the Katy Sun.
Other current HCN publications include the Atascocita Observer, Bay Area Citizen, Bellaire Examiner, Cleveland Advocate, Conroe Courier, Cypress Creek Mirror, Dayton News, Deer Park Broadcaster, East Montgomery Observer, Eastex Advocate, Fort Bend Sun, Friendswood Journal, Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, Lake Houston Observer, Magnolia Potpourri, Memorial Examiner, Pasadena Citizen, Pearland Journal, River Oaks Examiner, Spring Observer, Sugar Land Sun, Tomball Potpourri, West University Examiner and Woodlands Villager.
In recent years, HCN has closed or consolidated at number of under-performing newspapers in its chain.
In addition to the Houston Community Newspapers, ASP Westward also operated Colorado Community Newspapers in the Denver area, as well as the East Texas Community Newspaper chain.
ASP Westward sold the Colorado Community Newspapers, now called Colorado Community Media, last year. It sold its East Texas publications earlier this year.