James M. Clifford announced today that they have sold the Watertown (WI) Daily Times and Dodge County Independent News to Adams Publishing Group. The Watertown Daily Times is published Monday through Friday and the Dodge County Independent News weekly. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is representing the Clifford family in the sale.
Members of the Clifford family have owned the Watertown Daily Times since 1919. James Clifford, chairman of the company said that this was a difficult day for the family but felt the Times would be in a stronger position to compete in a challenging and fast changing competitive environment if it were part of a larger group. Clifford went on to say, “My family and I have enjoyed being stewards of this important community institution the past 99 years. We believe we have selected a new owner that will carry on in the best interests of Watertown, the readers of the Daily Times and our wonderful employees.”
Clifford’s son, Kevin is the fourth generation of the Clifford family to have worked at the company and currently serves as the editor and publisher. Both James and Kevin Clifford have served in leadership roles in a number of state and national newspaper organizations.
Adams Publishing Group principal, Stephen Adams stated, “We are extremely excited to have the Watertown Daily Times join our fast-growing publishing group. Watertown is exactly the type of community that we look for as we build our company.”
With 30 daily newspapers, more than 100 non-daily newspapers and other enterprises operating in 20 states, including Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia, Adams Publishing Group describes itself as “first and foremost a family-owned community newspaper company, which is driven to provide high quality products and services that make a positive difference in the lives of its constituents, which are, in prioritized order: its readers, customers/advertisers, communities, Associates (employees) and its shareholders.”
Other Adams family enterprises include outdoor advertising (billboards), radio, wine, Camping World/Good Sam (recreational vehicles) and significant philanthropic endeavors.