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The Hanford Sentinel was among several California newspapers sold by Lee Enterprises to a Canadian publishing group that owns the Bakersfield Californian.

Lee announced on March 13 the sale of its newspapers and digital media platforms in Santa Maria, Lompoc and Hanford, to Santa Maria News Media, Inc. Lee purchased the properties in 2005 as part of the Pulitzer acquisition.

The publications have a combined average daily circulation of 7,200 and their websites, santamariatimes.comlompocrecord.com, and hanfordsentinel.com reach more than 500,000 unique visitors each month, the Sentinel reported.

“Lee is thankful for the contributions Santa Maria, Lompoc and Hanford have made since 2005. They have shown an unwavering commitment to their communities and demonstrated exemplary local journalism,” said Kevin Mowbray, Lee’s president and chief executive officer. “We wish them continued success under the leadership of Santa Maria News Media.”

The new owners have newspapers throughout Canada and the United States. In addition to the Bakersfield Californian, their California newspapers include the Sonora Union Democrat, Porterville Recorder, Marysville Appeal-Democrat, Imperial Valley Press, Lodi News-Sentinel, and the Antelope Valley Press.

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