Whig par­ent co. ac­quires Minn. news­pa­pers


— The Ce­cil Whig’s par­ent com­pany pur­chased a Min­nesotan pub­lish­ing com­pany, one of the largest pub­lish­ers of weekly news­pa­pers in the coun­try, on Wed­nes­day, adding to its rapidly grow­ing port­fo­lio of ac­qui­si­tions.

Adams Pub­lish­ing Group ac­quired ECM Pub­lish­ers Inc., founded by for­mer Min­nesota Gov. Elmer L. An­der­sen, which has 50 in­di­vid­ual pub­li­ca­tions reach­ing more than 600,000 house­holds across cen­tral Min­nesota and western Wis­con­sin. Terms of the deal were not im­me­di­ately dis­closed.

ECM, founded by the for­mer Min­nesota gov­er­nor in 1976, has cov­er­age span­ning 26 coun­ties, and en­com­pass­ing a large share of the Twin Cities metro re­gion. It also in­cludes 23 web­sites.


“We are ex­cited to wel­come the ECM as­so­ciates to our APG team in Min­nesota,” APG Chair­man Stephen Adams said in a state­ment. “Our com­pany is head­quar­tered here, and my fam­ily has a long news­pa­per his­tory in the state of Min­nesota. ECM has done a fine job nav­i­gat­ing through dif­fi­cult times, and pro­duc­ing the high­est qual­ity print and dig­i­tal prod­ucts. We com­mend them for their ef­forts, and wish the An­der- sen fam­ily the best in their fu­ture en­deav­ors.”

ECM Pres­i­dent Marge Winkel­man said the sale brings strength and a pro­gres­sive out­look for the fu­ture.

“This is an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity for ECM to join the Adam’s Pub­lish­ing Group. The merger will add in­cred­i­ble syn­ergy to the mar­ket­place for our read­ers, ad­ver­tis­ers and as­so­ciates,” she said in a state­ment. “We have been very for­tu­nate to have had the An­der­sen lead­er­ship the last 40 years, first with Elmer An­der­sen and the last 20 years with Ju­lian An­der­sen. We look for­ward to our tran­si­tion into an­other highly re­garded fam­ily-run or­ga­ni­za­tion and work­ing closely with Stephen and Mark Adams.”

Adams Pub­lish­ing Group, a fam­ily-owned me­dia com­pany head­quar­tered in St. Louis Park, Minn., pro­duces com­mu­nity news­pa­pers, dig­i­tal prod­ucts and spe­cialty mag­a­zines serv­ing com­mu­ni­ties in Wy­oming, Min­nesota, Wis­con­sin, Mary­land, Idaho, Michi­gan and Ohio.

The Adams fam­ily also owns ra­dio sta­tions, out­door ad­ver­tis­ing com­pa­nies and Camp­ing World/ Good Sam, a na­tional dis­trib­u­tor of recre­ational ve­hi­cles and camp­ing-re­lated prod­ucts and ser­vices.

Adams Pub­lish­ing Group con­sists of six re­gional news­pa­per op­er­a­tions: APG Me­dia of Ch­e­sa­peake, APG Me­dia of Ohio, APG Me­dia of North­ern Min­nesota, APG Me­dia of South­ern Min­nesota, APG Me­dia of the Rockies and APG Me­dia of Wis­con­sin.

“This is truly great news. ECM is a me­dia com­pany of great in­tegrity and a proud tra­di­tion. We are ex­tremely pleased to wel­come them to APG,” said Chris Knight, pres­i­dent of APG Min­nesota.

This lat­est ac­qui­si­tion by the fam­ily-owned Adams Pub­lish­ing Group fol­lows the De­cem­ber ac­qui­si­tion of an Ohio pub­lish­ing chain, Oc­to­ber ac­qui­si­tion of four Idaho-based news­pa­pers, June 2015 ac­qui­si­tion of The Post Com­mu­nity Me­dia Group’s south­ern Mary­land news­pa­pers and Com­print mil­i­tary pub­li­ca­tions, Jan­uary 2015 ac­qui­si­tion of the Dun­dalk Ea­gle out­side of Bal­ti­more, and the 2014 ac­qui­si­tions of The Athens NEWS lo­cated in south­east­ern Ohio along with smaller Wis­con­sin and Min­nesota news­pa­pers.

In March 2014, Adams Pub­lish­ing Group ac­quired three di­vi­sions of Amer­i­can Con­sol­i­dated Me­dia — of which the Whig was then a part of — lo­cated in north­ern Min­nesota, Wis­con­sin, Ohio and Mary­land with 34 print pub­li­ca­tions and re­lated me­dia op­er­a­tions.

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