Brookside Group-backed MainStreet Media sells four weeklies

MainStreet Media Group, backed by The Brookside Group, has sold four Northern California weekly newspapers and associated digital properties. The purchased titles include Santa Cruz’s Good Times, the Gilroy Dispatch and the Morgan Hill Times, The Hollister Free Lance, along with the web site. Earlier this year, MainStreet Media Group sold the assets of its subsidiary MainStreet Communications, to an affiliate of the San Diego Union Tribune.

Press Release

Silicon Valley-based Metro Newspapers has purchased four Northern California weeklies and associated digital properties from MainStreet Media Group. The purchase was finalized today, March 31, 2014, and it was announced by Metro publisher Dan Pulcrano.

The purchased titles include:

Santa Cruz’s Good Times, the publication with the largest readership in Santa Cruz County
Two weeklies in South Santa Clara County—the Gilroy Dispatch and the Morgan Hill Times
The Hollister Free Lance, circulated in San Benito County, along with the web service

Good Times was founded by Jay Shore in 1975. Independent Newspapers of New Zealand purchased the publication from Shore in 1988. A decade later, Independent sold Good Times to a Midwestern publisher with 21 papers in Wisconsin, Nebraska and Michigan, and the California publishing group organized under MainStreet Media.

Good Times will consolidate operations with the Santa Cruz Weekly, which began publishing 20 years ago as Metro Santa Cruz. Pulcrano, who graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz, owned and worked for publications in Santa Cruz before starting the Silicon Valley publishing group.

The three weeklies based at the southern end of Silicon Valley each have more than a century of heritage:

Morgan Hill Times is the oldest continuously operated business in Morgan Hill, and traces its history back to 1894.

The Gilroy Dispatch was founded by G.M. Hanson and C.F. Macy, in 1868 as the Gilroy Advocate on Sept. 12, 1868.

The Free Lance, which serves Hollister and San Benito County, was founded October 18, 1873.

Earlier this year, MainStreet Media Group sold the assets of its subsidiary, MainStreet Communications LLC, located in San Diego County, CA, to an affiliate of the San Diego Union Tribune.

MainStreet Media Group is a portfolio company of The Brookside Group, a Stamford, CT-based private equity fund.

About Metro Newspapers

Metro operates three northern California weeklies: Metro Silicon Valley, Santa Cruz Weekly, and North Bay Bohemian, which is circulated in Sonoma, Napa and Marin counties.

The company is headed by Dan Pulcrano, who founded the Los Gatos Weekly-Times and, as Metro’s CEO in the 1990s, purchased the Saratoga News, Cupertino Courier and Willow Glen Resident to establish Silicon Valley Community Newspapers. The community group was sold to a Metro executive in 2001 and is now owned by the Digital First Media’s Bay Area News Group.

Metro’s affiliate, Boulevards New Media Inc., is a pioneering digital media company that operates city guides in most large U.S. cities.