Part of any sale or purchase it that of good will. They buy the title with the assumption that they are buying, in this case a newspaper (s) that are beloved by their customers. We all know that as stated earlier, "when they see the circulation, they'll throw up" I was embarrassed to tell people our paid circulation numbers, they are pitiful. We try to not mention paid versus free, it just complicates things.
Just a rumor; one I'm trying to spread, not start.