Adams Publishing Group, LLC, the parent company of Sun Newspapers, announced it had acquired The Greater Beloit Publishing Company of Wisconsin, including the Beloit Daily News, Weekend Daily News and My Stateline Shopper. Also included in the purchase are all associated websites and the company’s Midwest digital business.
“We are very excited to have the Beloit newspapers join the Adams group of newspapers,” said Mark Adams, Adams Publishing Group CEO. “The Beloit Daily News’ longtime associates have served the Beloit community well and we look forward to continuing that tradition. Beloit is exactly the type of community we look for as we continue to expand our company, and this market fits well with other publishing properties we own in the great state of Wisconsin.”
The Beloit Daily News traces back to a series of newspapers founded in the 1840s. By 1915, the competing newspapers had all been consolidated under the banner of the Beloit Daily News. In January 1969, Duane Hagadone and the Hagadone Corporation purchased the Beloit Daily News from the Walter Strong family. The Beloit Daily News was the first daily newspaper in Wisconsin with a website, which launched in June 1995.
“The Beloit Daily News is an award-winning publication,” said Jeff Patterson, President of APG Central Division. “We look forward to working with the talented staff in Beloit and uniting their efforts with our other award-winning publications.”
Adams Publishing Group also announced that it had acquired the Antigo Daily Journal, Journal Express, and all associated digital and print products.
Mark Adams said, “The Berner family and their employees have a long history of serving the community of Antigo. We look forward to continuing that tradition. Antigo is exactly the type of community we look for as we continue to expand our company, and this market fits well with other publishing properties we own in the great state of Wisconsin.”
The Berner family arrived in the north central Wisconsin community in 1884. While the patriarch, Henry, was employed as a shoemaker, the children were educated in Antigo and two brothers, Henry and Fred, struck out and dabbled in newspapering in Columbus, Wisc., around the turn of the century. They apparently liked it and returned to Antigo and bought a weekly, the Antigo Journal. At the time, the community was very small, but they launched a daily newspaper on Sept. 5, 1905, and a combination of family and hard work made it a very successful publishing and commercial printing enterprise.
Following a long and often difficult stretch through two world wars and shattering Depression, Fred died and Henry retired, turning the business over to sons Artemas and Henry. After passing of those principals, the business was operated by Marie F. Berner, the widow of Artemas. Following the 1963 death of her husband, Marie was a tremendous success as a publisher, a recognized leader and an important element in the core of the Antigo and Langlade County community. After her death in 2011, her son Fred, who has been associated with the newspaper for more than 50 years, has led the Antigo Daily Journal. It is a still a true family operation with a strong reputation for news coverage, integrity and fairness, just as the original Berner Brothers had as a goal when they launched their daily newspaper dream in 1905.
“Antigo is a great community with a strong history in local journalism. We believe we can advance this important mission with the support of the talented employees at the Daily Journal,” said Jeff Patterson, president APG Central Division. “We look forward to uniting their efforts with our other award-winning publications in Wisconsin,” Patterson added. In southeast Wisconsin, APG currently operates daily newspapers in Janesville, Beloit, Fort Atkinson, Marinette and Watertown, and weeklies in Sun Prairie, Waterloo, Cottage Grove, Cambridge, Lake Mills, Milton, Waunakee, DeForest and Lodi. In northwest Wisconsin, Adams Publishing Group operates the newspapers in Eau Claire, Rice Lake, Spooner, Hayward, Phillips, Park Falls and Ashland.
In southeast Wisconsin, APG currently operates daily newspapers in Fort Atkinson and Watertown, and weeklies in Sun Prairie, Waterloo, Cottage Grove, Cambridge, Lake Mills, Milton, Waunakee, DeForest and Lodi. It also recently announced an agreement to purchase the Gazette in Janesville and The Eagle Herald in Marinette, and its weekly community newspapers: The Janesville Messenger, The Wisconsin/Illinois Stateline News and Walworth County Shopper Advertiser.
Adams Publishing Group owns and operates 34 daily newspapers and over 100 weekly newspapers in 20 states, including the Arcadian in DeSoto County. In addition to its community newspaper company, the Adams family operates radio stations, outdoor advertising, a wine distribution business, Camping World Good Sam Club, and Gander Outdoors.
The sale was handled for the sellers by Cribb, Greene & Cope.