MINNEAPOLIS — Adams Publishing Group, LLC, announced June 4 that it intends to acquire Bliss Communications, including two daily newspapers — 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. Also included in the purchase are all associated websites and the company’s printing and production facility in Janesville. The final transaction is expected to take place mid-June.
Mark Adams, Adams Publishing Group CEO, said, “We are very excited to have the Bliss newspapers join the Adams family of newspapers. The communities served by Bliss are exactly the type of cities and counties that we look for as we continue to expand our company, and each of these markets fits well with other publishing properties we own in the great state of Wisconsin.”
The Gazette was established in 1845 and is the oldest continuing business in Janesville. Members of the Bliss family have owned the newspaper since 1883. Five generations of the family have operated the company. The Gazette, a 14,000-circulation daily, is the flagship newspaper of the group. In 2007, the company built a state-of-the-art commercial printing and production facility in Janesville. The facility prints publications from Chicago to northern Wisconsin. In 2008, Bliss acquired Community Shoppers, a group of weekly newspapers in south-central Wisconsin.
“The Gazette, Eagle Herald and CSI publications are all top-notch, quality news products. The newspapers, digital products and associates will fit nicely with our existing business in the region,” said Jeff Patterson, president APG Central Division. 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, Wisc.
Adams Publishing Group owns and operates 30 daily newspapers and more than 100 weekly newspapers in 20 states. 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 Dirks, Van Essen, Murray and April.