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.