StarNews Transitions to New Owner

Jan 13, 2012

Halifax Media, which recently bought 16 regional publications from the New York Times Company including the Star News of Wilmington, made national headlines this week when the company dropped its plans to have those new employees sign non-compete agreements. 

WHQR’s Michelle Bliss reports that the company’s existing policy on non-compete agreements quickly sparked concern.

StarNews Publisher Bob Gruber says that when staff members for several of the newly-acquired publications expressed concern about the agreement, Halifax Media decided to drop the requirement for current employees. New hires will have to sign the agreement.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that under the non-compete agreement, employees can’t work for any media competitor for two years after leaving the company. Gruber says some StarNews employees were also concerned about another Halifax Media policy on nepotism.

After a few worrisome hours for a handful of staffers, Halifax Media officials also decided to only apply the company’s rules against nepotism to new hires.

With the transition, Gruber says that no full-time employees have been let go and that his staff is committed to reporting local news for southeastern North Carolina.