Talks on 'Advocate' sale to Georges accelerating
Sources familiar with negotiations between the Manship family and New Orleans businessman John Georges over the possible sale of The Advocate say talks have been accelerated because of publicity surrounding the possible deal, and that purchase agreements could be exchanged within the next two weeks. Sources stress, however, that no firm offer is on the table yet because of the complexities surrounding the deal and the many different ways it could be structured. Though no one knows for sure what The Advocate is worth, given that its financials are not made public, publisher David Manship has said the paper still owes approximately $30 million on the Siegen Lane printing presses it bought several years ago. Sources say that debt will factor prominently into how the deal is structured. According to newspaper analyst John Morton of The American Journalist Review, an industry rule of thumb to determine a newspaper's value is to use a multiplier of between $300 and $500 and apply it to the paper's average daily circulation. Depending on whether The Advocate's New Orleans circulation is included in the calculation, that formula puts the paper's value at anywhere from $25 million to $50 million—not including the debt. —Stephanie Riegel
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