Daily News: September 12, 2012

RBS Citizens Leads New Facility for Versa Media Entities


Private equity firm Versa Capital Management announced the creation of Civitas Media, a new community news media company. Civitas, Latin for “community” or “citizen,” combines four media entities owned by Versa: Freedom Central, Heartland Publications, Impressions Media and Ohio Community Media.

Versa said the capitalization and working capital requirements of the business are supported by a new $62.5 million multi-bank senior term loan and revolving credit facility led by RBS Citizens.

The merged organization is led by CEO Michael Bush, formerly the CEO of group member Heartland Publications, and COO Scott Champion, formerly the CEO of group member Ohio Community Media.

“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.