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January 21. 2013 8:09PM

Nashua mayor says sale of Telegraph newspaper is business, but family loss is still unfortunate

NASHUA - Describing a sale of the Nashua Telegraph as a typical business move, Mayor Donnalee Lozeau says she is nonetheless saddened to see a newspaper family separate from the organization.

"I think it is unfortunate, as that family has owned it for so long and has been so generous to our community - not just with what they have done with the paper, but in their foundations, in their accessibility, in their time," Lozeau said recently. "They have just been such a wonderful family, so I think it is sad to see them go."

But the mayor stressed that she is not concerned about the Nashua Telegraph being up for sale, saying the city is very accustomed to having various businesses - or divisions of select companies - sold and acquired by other, larger companies.

"I don't look at it as a newspaper, I look at it as a business. This is a typical business process here," Lozeau said.

While the McLean family of Pennsylvania has owned the Nashua paper for more than 30 years, Lozeau said the sale does not weaken the city.

"I think the family and the foundation were a big deal, and they added something to this community, but I also think this is a business transaction," Lozeau said. She said she thinks a strong company will be in a good position to acquire the newspaper.

"I think it is important to keep the Telegraph here, and to have a Nashua paper for a city of this size."

The state's second largest city, Nashua is also part of the statewide New Hampshire Union Leader's footprint. The Union Leader, based in Manchester, publishes several editions daily, including one for the greater Nashua area. The Union Leader is the state's largest newspaper and is itself locally owned and operated.

Independent Publications Inc., the Telegraph's parent company, announced last month that it would seek buyers for its daily and weekly newspapers, which also include the Milford Cabinet, Hollis Brookline Journal, Bedford Journal and Merrimack Journal.

Andrew Bickford, president of Independent Publications of Bryn Mawr, Penn., previously told the New Hampshire Union Leader that family members of the late William McLean, who died in 2011, have decided to exit the newspaper business.

Independent Publications has employed a newspaper broker to handle the sale. Neither Bickford nor Telegraph Publisher Terrence Williams was available for comment on Monday.

Meanwhile, the mayor said she will continue to read the Nashua Telegraph and the Union Leader on a daily basis. Lozeau is also hoping to eventually produce her own short series of online news videos offering her views on various city issues.

"It would be easy for me to talk," she said, adding a short video posted on the city's website every once in a while with her explaining the other side of the news - behind the scenes - might be beneficial for residents.

"But I still read the paper every day. . I almost never go to the web for news. I am just old-school," Lozeau said.

khoughton@newstote.com



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