Accelerating Times Media Group’s expansion into southern California, the company has acquired The Acorn Newspapers, with five award-winning brands serving more than 340,000 readers in western Los Angeles and eastern Ventura Counties, according to TMG founder and President Steve Strickbine.
The acquisition includes weeklies The Acorn of Agoura Hills, the Moorpark Acorn, the Simi Valley Acorn, the Camarillo Acorn and the Thousand Oaks Acorn, along with several companion publications and associated websites.
“This is a great day for both Times Media Group and the Acorn Newspapers,” said Strickbine. “Jim and Lisa Rule have built a highly respected, trusted community news brand that provides exceptional news coverage for readers and terrific value for advertisers. This alliance blends perfectly with Times Media Group’s commitment to providing communities the local news and information they need with a high degree of accuracy and truth.”
The Acorn publications join Times Media Group’s other Southern California community news properties, including the Pasadena Weekly, LA Downtown News, Argonaut in Santa Monica, Ventura County Reporter and the recently acquired Picket Fence Media, publisher of several publications in the Orange County area.
Conejo Valley residents Jim and Lisa Rule purchased the Agoura, Calabasas, Westlake Village Acorn in 1996. Under their leadership, the publications grew to become one of the most respected and trusted community news groups in the state of California. The couple subsequently added papers in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Moorpark and Camarillo, and also launched Beyond the Acorn, a news and features magazine.
“While passing the torch is never easy, we are confident in the bright future of Acorn Newspapers under Steve Strickbine’s leadership,” said the Rules, who in 2017 shared the California Press Foundation’s Justus F. Craemer Newspaper Executive of the Year Award. “Steve shares our passion for hyperlocal journalism and deep community ties. We are proud to have nurtured these publications and now entrust their legacy to such a capable new caretaker.
“Though we as a couple are no longer at the helm, both of us look forward to contributing as loyal readers while cheering on Acorn Newspapers' continued success in this next chapter with Times Media Group.”
The publications will continue to operate from their offices in Agoura Hills and Camarillo, said Strickbine.
“Since I’ve gotten to know Jim and Lisa, I’ve developed a tremendous respect for their passion to produce high-quality journalism with unquestioned integrity,” said Strickbine. “I am honored that they chose Times Media Group as the successor to carry that mantle forward.”
Times Media Group, founded by Strickbine in 1997, owns and operates more than 40 publications throughout Arizona and Southern California, including more than 25 weekly community newspapers and companion websites. TMG also owns and operates AZ Integrated Media, a media distribution and custom publishing company.
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