Tribune Publishing Company has acquired six daily and 32 weekly suburban news and information brands from Wrapports, LLC. The acquired publications – which include the Aurora Beacon-News, The Elgin Courier-News, the Lake County News-Sun, The Naperville Sun, the Post-Tribune in Northwest Indiana, The SouthtownStar and the 32 Pioneer Press weekly newspapers – will become part of the diversified portfolio of the Chicago Tribune Media Group (CTMG), which operates the Chicago Tribune, RedEye, Chicago magazine, Hoy and other Chicago-based media brands. The acquired papers have collective circulations of 72,000 daily, 87,000 Sunday and 52,000 weekly. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“This acquisition represents an important step forward for Tribune Publishing Company and the Chicago Tribune Media Group,” said Jack Griffin, CEO of Tribune Publishing. “It supports our stated strategy of leveraging our existing infrastructure, resources and management teams to drive growth for our Company. Additionally, the new print and distribution agreement for the Chicago Sun-Times continues an important commercial relationship that supports our stated strategy of revenue diversification.”
To oversee the newly acquired publications, Tribune Publishing has appointed a senior Chicago-based executive with deep local roots and expertise. Bob Fleck, who most recently served as EVP of Advertising, spent 22 years at the Chicago Tribune in numerous managerial capacities. He assumes his role as Publisher & General Manager immediately and will report to CTMG CEO Tony Hunter.
The acquisition of the suburban Chicago papers is the fourth in a series completed by Tribune Publishing this year. Previous acquisitions include:
- Carroll County (Md.) Times and Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md. from Landmark Communications, and which are now part of the Baltimore Sun Media Group;
- City Paper in Baltimore from Times-Shamrock Communications. The paper is operated as an independent weekly under The Baltimore Sun Media Group; and
- Reminder Media’s 15 weekly news publications in Connecticut, the largest collection in the state, which are now part of the Hartford Courant Media Group.