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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Alabama pension fund becomes sole owner of large local newspaper chain

Associated Press

Alabama’s employee pension fund has become the sole owner of one of the largest chains of local U.S. newspapers, the company announced Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

With nearly 360,000 members and some $44 billion in managed assets, CHNI LLC has been acquired by the Retirement Systems of Alabama, the company said in a statement.

The CHNI group, which began as a small newspaper chain in 1997 – and previously operated with the state retirement system as its creditor, according to the AP – including newspapers such as the Valdosta Daily Times in Georgia; the Tribune Star in Terre Haute, Indiana; the Gloucester Daily Times in Massachusetts; the Meridian Star in Mississippi; and the Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, New York.

The Montgomery, Alabama-based newspaper group is being spun off Raycom Media Inc., which is being purchased by the Atlanta-based Gray Television Inc. Raycom was owned by the retirement system, the AP reported.

“We are very excited about working with RSA again because of its dedication to the crucial role of newspapers in keeping the public informed on what is happening in their communities and beyond,” chief executive Donna Barrett told the AP.