The 1733 Sheepshead Bay Road headquarters of the Bay News, after it moved downtown.

News Corp. is looking to sell off its Brooklyn-based newspaper portfolio, a publishing group that includes the Bay News.

The company began quietly seeking out potential buyers for its Community Newspaper Group, the publisher of 11 community weeklies ranging from the Bay News in Southern Brooklyn to the Brooklyn Paper downtown, as well as papers in Queens and the Bronx, reports Capital New York.

Sources could not tell Capital whether the operation is profitable, but did note that circulation stands at 250,000 across its 11 titles and there has been a steep drop in classified advertising and circulation over the last decade.

News Corp. owns the Wall Street Journal and New York Post, and purchased two newspaper chains in Brooklyn and Queens in 2006, forming CNG. It bought Brooklyn Paper in 2009.

Bay News began in 1945 and, through expansion and acquisition, grew to become the largest weekly community newspaper chain in New York City, known as Courier-Life Publications, with the Bay News as its flagship paper.

Bay News celebrated its 65th anniversary in 2010 with a special edition issue. In self-congratulatory pieces penned by the newly-installed editors from Staten Island and the Bronx, they boasted of their accomplishments and noted, “We’ll be around forever” and “We’ve always been the big cheese around here, well before blogs and their like were on the horizon.”

Yet, just one year earlier, the company vacated its 1733 Sheepshead Bay Road headquarters and moved to the MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn.

And two years after that declaration, executives at the company consolidated several of its Southern Brooklyn publications, including the Bay News, Bay Ridge Courier, Kings Courier and Flatbush Life, into a single weekly edition that represented an overall cut in circulation.

News Corp. declined to comment to Capital on the decision to sell. Capital notes that the June resignation of Senior Vice President Les Goodstein, who had been running CNG, indicates it has been in the works for “some time.”

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  • sadeyes

    I would never pay for that rag & it’s all right-wing columnists & editorials. I don’t even read it when it’s free. Not only are the columnists so predictably right-wing, they are also crummy writers.

    Once I found Sheepsheadbites, I never had a use for Bay News again. So glad you are here, Ned & staff. Thanks!

    • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

      Aw, thanks. We like you, too.

      • bruce bored

        geez, this guy doesn’t need his ego fed. His stomach, yes, not his ego

    • levp

      I’d like to bill them for my efforts to pick up their bag and dump it in the recycling bin.

    • bruce

      It’s amazing to me that these days people have no shame in self-censoring themselves. My teachers, starting in the 7th grade taught me not to be afraid of reading things against my own biases, and not to consider such literature as that of “idiots” or “morons”.
      I know people that pick their friends based on politics. I’m ashamed to say I have a family member who tries to pick his/her daughter’s boyfriends based on politics. Jerry Seinfeld poked fun at such an attitude with the episode where Elaine is forced to leave a restaurant and dump a good potential boyfriend because they don’t agree with abortion!
      I don’t think reading only what one agrees with is something to be proud of. Not picking on you personally, but just trying to make a general point.
      As far as Bay News, I like it. I don’t read the editorials, that guy Stan, or that other woman, I forget the name. Bay News delivers good news, and has a good section on the weekend entertainment (mostly Bay Ridge).

      • levp

        Well, I read all the comments here, including yours! So, no self-censorship in that respect.
        When writing, I do exercise some in order not to engage in ad hominem, but shouldn’t we all?

        However, selecting one’s long-term partner based on compatibility (including that of political views) is not self-censorship, but sanity.

        the exercising of control over what one says and does, especially to avoid castigation

        http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/self-censorship

        • bruce b

          I guess we have to leave it up to others whether “political views” is any kind of basis for selecting a long-term partner. But what do you think of a parent frowning on a kid’s choices? And I’m not talking about someone with lunatic views either, just a view that doesn’t match his/her own. I personally find that insanity, not sanity.
          It’s reading my posts that’s insanity….
          And furthermore, I always avoid castigation by wearing proper protection when I play sports! Oh how I miss Norm Crosby. Wait a minute. Holy spit, the guy is still alive! You’re probably too young for Norm Crosby…

          • bruce b

            Furthermore, it’s bad enough the chicks can eliminate me on the basis of looks, personality, financial situation, lack of class. Now I have to worry about political views????

          • levp

            There is always Florida.

          • Murry

            Good closer bruce b.

  • An-offer-you-cant-refuse

    I’ll offer them a ham sandwich, the lint in my pocket, a paperclip, and about tree fitty. They can respond here if they’re interested.

    • bruce b

      I’ll offer a buck three eighty. Geez I must be bored.

      • Red Sox Fan

        A buck three-eighty don’t buy much lately on the street these days.

  • Igor

    at least we’ll be left with this blog, which relies entirely on the reporting of capital ny to tell the story.

    • ES

      I can personally attest that your statement is completely incorrect.

      • Igor

        Really? Perhaps you should re-read the post. It relies entirely on the reporting of Capital NY to tell the story. Or was there some original reporting about the prospective sale?

  • Allan Rosen

    I used to send them letters regularly about fifty in all. They printed virtually everyone. Then there was the last letter. They are free to edit. Edit means cut something out. It does not mean change the wording. The letter was about Oriental Blvd. In two places, I referred to the “zebra stripes” and in both cases they changed the words to “crosswalks”, making my letter non-sensical.

    I wrote to them again notifying them of their error and told them if they do not print a correction, they will never receive another letter from me again. They never did and I never sent them another one. That was three years ago.

    • ES

      Having edited hundreds of letters for the Bay News between 2000 and 2010, I could tell you that, by withholding letters from them, you were not exactly doing them a disservice. They only meant more work.

      • Allan Rosen

        Especially when I wrote a letter that was 1,927 words long. You weren’t that editor, were you?

  • Andrew Kent

    So does this clear the decks for a Sheepshead Bites Print Edition, or is it yet another harbinger of print journalism’s demise? And will CNG’s online pages be scrapped as well? Has CNG’s print advertising revenue fallen off, with competition from online media creating a larger pie with smaller slices? And does the fact that News Corp. is “seeking out potential buyers” for CNG suggest that the papers may continue or re-emerge under new ownership?

    Politics aside, there’s no question that Citizen Murdoch has lowered the bar throughout a significant segment of the world’s news media, although he has kept a lot of people gainfully employed who might otherwise be selling used cars or aluminum siding. Nevertheless, as a former publicist who once enjoyed a healthy symbiosis with several Brooklyn weeklies, I will miss the Bay News, as I would any local publication, because the experiences that define a community are rooted in the information is shares, and the stilling of any voice, no matter how small, controversial, or even biased, means one less forum for the exchange of opinions and ideas.

    • Diane

      Yes, the old Bay News was great. you can’t find press releases run verbatim much these days. Oh, except on this blog.

  • guest

    At least you could get coupons in the bay news and at the very least (if the paper wasn’t thrown at your doorstep.) you had a reason to get up and leave the house.

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