Halifax Media Group, which acquired The Press Democrat and 15 other newspapers in December from the New York Times Co., announced a deal Friday to buy 20 newspapers in Florida and North Carolina from Freedom Communications.

Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close within 30 days.

The acquisition underscores Halifax Media Group's view that newspapers have value, both as an investment and as a service to their communities, said Michael Redding, chief executive officer of the Daytona Beach, Fla., company.

"At Halifax Media Group, we believe in the future of newspapers," Redding said in a statement. "These properties provide a perfect extension to our recently acquired New York Times Regional Newspaper Group papers and reflect our interest in preserving community journalism for many years to come."

Founded in 2010, Halifax owns 16 newspapers in six states, primarily in the southeast United States. In Sonoma County, it also owns the North Bay Business Journal and Petaluma Argus-Courier.

Halifax is buying 20 newspapers from Freedom Communications, an Irvine newspaper company that emerged from bankruptcy in 2010. The properties involved in the transaction include the Holmes County Times-Advertiser, Bonifay, Fla.; Times-News, Burlington, N.C.; Havelock News, Havelock, N.C.; The Daily News, Jacksonville, N.C.; Free Press, Kinston, N..C; The Star, Port St. Joe, Fla.; The Walton Sun, Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.; Washington County News, Chipley, Fla.; The Crestview News Bulletin, Crestview, Fla.; The Destin Log, Destin, Fla.; Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.; The Gaston Gazette, Gastonia, N.C.; Jones Post, Kinston, N.C.; Santa Rosa Press Gazette and Santa Rosa Free Press, Milton, Fla.; Sun Journal and The Shopper, New Bern, N.C.; The News Herald, Panama City, Fla.; The Star, Shelby, N.C.; and The Topsail Advertiser, Surf City, N.C.

All existing employees will be offered jobs with Halifax.