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Triple Crown Media to sell Host Communications

LAWRENCEVILLE - Triple Crown Media Inc., parent company of the Gwinnett Daily Post, announced Monday plans to sell its college sports marketing division, Host Communications, to sports and entertainment company IMG Inc. for $74.3 million, according to a news release.

The decision leaves Triple Crown Media Inc. (TCMI), a publicly traded company formed in 2005 from the publishing, wireless and sports marketing businesses of Gray Television Inc., in the newspaper business only.

Triple Crown Media, which sold Graylink Wireless earlier this year, owns and operates six daily newspapers, Gwinnett Daily Post, The Albany Herald, Henry Herald, Jonesboro News-Daily, Newton Citizen and Rockdale Citizen, and the weekly Jackson Progress-Argus, all of which are in Georgia.

With a combined daily circulation of 100,800 and Sunday circulation of approximately 135,000, TCMI's newspaper publishing segment generated $48.5 million in revenues in fiscal year 2007.

Current plans call for TCMI president Thomas J. Stultz to join IMG as senior vice president and managing director of IMG College Sports, Triple Crown officials said.

TCMI Chairman Robert S. Prather Jr. will assume management of TCMI's newspapers. Proceeds from the sale will be used to pay down TCMI debt, Prather said.

The sale is expected to be completed this week, officials said.

Founded in 1972, Lexington, Ky.-based Host has 16 regional offices around the country and generated $81.8 million in revenues during fiscal year 2007, IMG officials said.