MediaNews Group has acquired the assets of Minnesota-based Red Wing Publishing Company, including its print publications, websites and commercial printing operations.
Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented Red Wing Publishing Company in the transaction. Terms were not disclosed.
Red Wing Publishing Company, a family-owned company that has been in operation for more than 50 years, is the parent of Big Fish Works, which operates three clusters across Minnesota: Crow River Media in the central part of the state, International Falls/North Star in the northeastern corner and Southwest News Media to the west of Minneapolis. MediaNews Group operates the nearby St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Big Fish operates 11 community newspapers, an innovative digital marketing agency and two commercial printing facilities. The markets served, including Hutchinson, International Falls, and Savage, are among some of the fastest growing in the state of Minnesota.
In an announcement to employees, Big Fish CEO Mark Poss said, “As you know, the economics of our industry have changed dramatically over the past 20 years. And as an independent family-owned company, and with your help, we have been able to rise to meet many of the challenges created by that change.”
Poss continued, “But instead of stabilizing like transitions in the past, the change in reader habits and advertiser strategies only continues to evolve. Responding to this constant evolution requires expensive technology, resources and training, making it more difficult for small independents to keep up.”
“A result of these changes has been, and continues to be, rapid consolidation. After careful consideration with our board and our family, we have decided that selling our assets to a larger news media company is the best way forward for us and for our staff members.”
MNG is the third largest newspaper media company in the country and we believe they have the resources, strategies and capital to survive and thrive in this ever-evolving business.”