Versa Capital Management, LLC, a private equity investment firm, today announced the creation of Civitas Media, LLC, a new community news media company. Civitas, pronounced Si-vi-tas, a Latin word meaning “community” or “citizen”, combines four media entities owned by Versa: Freedom Central, Heartland Publications, Impressions Media and Ohio Community Media. Group member Heartland Publications previously owned the Gallipolis Daily Tribune and The Daily Sentinel in Ohio and the Point Pleasant Register in West Virginia.
“We have assembled an excellent group of community news publishers over the past 15 months, and combining them together under the Civitas umbrella is a logical and value-enhancing result,” stated Versa’s CEO Gregory L. Segall. “Community-based media has remained profitable and largely avoided the level of financial pressure experienced by large daily metros in recent years. They are the principal source of information and news content, as well as the primary advertising vehicles for their communities, whether in print or online, and we see a more stable and resilient future for this sector.”
Civitas, which now employs 1,650 people at 99 locations across 12 states in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and South, serves its communities through its dedication to the delivery of local information, including news and advertising solutions, across a variety of platforms. These communities are served by 35 local daily newspapers, including 28 with weekend editions, as well as 63 weekly products. These papers have a combined average weekly circulation of 1.6 million. Civitas also serves these communities with numerous free, advertisement-supported publications and a growing online presence. In addition, Civitas publishes specialty products such as local community directories, wine magazines, regional agricultural publications, realty publications, local entertainment guides and online magazines and SEO solutions.