Whig par­ent com­pany pur­chases Seat­tle-based me­dia co.

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By JA­COB OWENS jowens@ce­cil­whig.com

MIN­NEAPO­LIS — The Ce­cil Whig’s par­ent com­pany an­nounced the ac­qui­si­tion of a Seat­tle-based me­dia com­pany Friday, fur­ther ex­pand­ing its port­fo­lio of hold­ings that now reach the West Coast.

Adams Pub­lish­ing Group, the Whig’s par­ent com­pany owned and op­er­ated by the Adams fam­ily, will pur­chase The Pi­o­neer News Group Co. me­dia di­vi­sion as­sets, in­clud­ing 22 daily and weekly news­pa­pers in Wash­ing­ton, Ore­gon, Idaho, Mon­tana and Utah along with a news­pa­per and com­mer­cial print fa­cil­ity, var­i­ous shop­pers and web­sites. The sale is ex­pected to be fi­nal­ized Nov. 1, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease. Terms were not dis­closed.

The Pi­o­neer News Group is a fam­ily me­dia busi­ness owned by mem­bers of the Scripps fam­ily. The Scripps have a long his­tory in news­pa­pers, start­ing with E.W. Scripps, who started the Detroit Evening News in 1873 and the Cleve­land Penny Press in 1878, which led to a big­ger chain of news­pa­pers that in­cluded the St. Louis Chron­i­cle and Cincin­nati Post.

Pi­o­neer News­pa­pers was formed by James G. Scripps in 1986. The com­pany is owned by Leighton Wood and his chil­dren, St­e­dem, Marnie, Heather and Laura, along with eight next-gen­er­a­tion fam­ily mem­bers. Marnie Roozen serves as chair­woman of the com­pany’s board of directors.

“It has been an honor for my fam­ily to serve our com­mu­ni­ties over these many gen­er­a­tions,” Roozen said in the re­lease. “We cher­ish the friend­ships we have cre­ated with our em­ploy­ees and truly feel we are a fam­ily. It is be­cause of our ded­i­ca­tion to our com­mu­ni­ties and em­ploy­ees that we are so pleased that Adams Pub­lish­ing Group is pur­chas­ing our me­dia di­vi­sion. Adams shares our val­ues as well as a deep com­mit­ment to the fu­ture of com­mu­nity news­pa­pers. It is heart­en­ing to know our papers will be in very ca­pa­ble hands.”

The com­pany was re­cently re­named Pi­o­neer News Group to re­flect its ex­pan­sion to pro­duce news and advertising, both in print and ex­pand­ing dig­i­tal for­mats. Mike Gugliotto serves as Pi­o­neer’s pres­i­dent and CEO.

“I’m very proud of the out­stand­ing work Pi­o­neer em­ploy­ees have pro­duced as our in­dus­try con­tin­ues to evolve, fac­ing re­lated chal­lenges and ex­cit­ing new op­por­tu­ni­ties,” Gugliotto said. “It’s been a priv­i­lege to work with some of the most ded­i­cated, de­ter­mined and cre­ative peo­ple in the busi­ness, with the un­wa­ver­ing sup­port of the Wood fam­ily.”

APG cur­rently owns and op­er­ates 100 com­mu­nity news­pa­pers in 11 states, in­clud­ing the ac­qui­si­tion of five news­pa­per pub­lish­ing com­pa­nies in 2016. In ad­di­tion to its com­mu­nity news­pa­per com­pany, the Adams fam­ily owns ra­dio sta­tions, out­door advertising com­pa­nies, a wine dis­tri­bu­tion busi­ness, la­bel print­ing com­pa­nies and a large in­ter­est in Camp­ing World Hold­ings, a pub­licly-traded na­tional net­work of RV deal­ers, affin­ity pro­grams, the Good Sam Club and other RV-re­lated prod­ucts and ser­vices.

“We’re very ex­cited to wel­come the Pi­o­neer group of com­mu­nity news­pa­pers, com­mer­cial print fa­cil­i­ties, and other print and dig­i­tal prod­ucts and ser­vices to APG. We’re es­pe­cially pleased to wel­come Pi­o­neer’s over 500 ded­i­cated as­so­ci­ates to our com­mu­nity news­pa­per group,” said Steve Adams, of the Adams Pub­lish­ing Group, in the re­lease. “The Wood fam­ily, along with Pi­o­neer’s ded­i­cated em­ploy­ees and man­age­ment team, has done a stel­lar job of cre­at­ing new and com­pelling prod­ucts and ser­vices, both in print and dig­i­tal, in the face of an ever chang­ing me­dia land­scape. We com­mend their ef­forts, and look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing their proud jour­nal­is­tic tra­di­tion in the com­mu­ni­ties Pi­o­neer serves.”

Pi­o­neer news­pa­pers in the sale in­clude The El­lens­burg Daily Record, The Kla­math Falls Her­ald and News, The Lake County Ex­am­iner, The Kla­math Falls Nickel, The Sk­agit Val­ley Her­ald, The Ana­cortes Amer­i­can, The Burling­ton Ar­gus, The Se­droWool­ley Courier-Times, The Stan­wood Ca­mano News, The Lo­gan Her­ald Jour­nal, The Tre­mon­ton Leader, The Boze­man Daily Chron­i­cle, The Bel­grade News, The Idaho Press Tri­bune, The Idaho State Jour­nal, The Kuna Melba News, The Merid­ian Press, The Em­mett Mes­sen­ger In­dex, The Mont­pe­lier News-Ex­am­iner, The Pre­ston Ci­ti­zen, The Rexburg Stan­dard Jour­nal and The Te­ton Val­ley News.

Cribb, Greene & Cope rep­re­sented the Pi­o­neer News Group Co. in this trans­ac­tion.

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