The Times Publishing Co., parent company of the St. Petersburg Times, has sold Congressional Quarterly to Roll Call Group.
Under the terms of the agreement, Roll Call will purchase CQ to form a new company to be known as the CQ-Roll Call Group. The sale price was not disclosed.
Roll Call, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Economist Group, publishes a daily newspaper and operates CongressNow, a legislative wire service.
"The Times Publishing Co. takes great pride in the success of Congressional Quarterly, and takes great pleasure in knowing that it has a very bright future as part of the Economist Group," Paul Tash, chairman and chief executive of the Times, said in a prepared statement Tuesday. He said the Times is retaining its Governing Magazine division in D.C.
In a note to Times staffers, Tash wrote that the sale lets the company "extinguish its debt and advance its long-term goals in Florida."
CQ is an award-winning journalism company that has been a leader in covering Congress and federal politics since it was created in 1945 by then-Times owner Nelson Poynter. Poynter viewed it as way to help the home audience keep tabs on its Washington representatives, and he saw it more as a public service than a source of profit. Today it employs more than 160 reporters, editors and researchers, and is considered a leading publisher of information on federal, state and local government. Most of its revenue is now derived from its online operations.
"We are delighted to welcome Congressional Quarterly to Roll Call," said Laurie Battaglia, managing director and executive vice president of Roll Call Group, who will become the executive leader of the new merged enterprise.
"The new CQ-Roll Call Group will have the largest and most experienced newsroom covering Washington and will be the leader in providing insight and analysis about the workings of Congress," Battaglia said. "CQ and Roll Call are both highly regarded for unbiased, authoritative journalism and excellence."