Adams Publishing Group announces intent to purchase ECM Publishers Inc.

MINNEAPOLIS — Adams Publishing Group announced that it intends to purchase ECM Publishers Inc., founded by former Gov. Elmer L. Andersen, which is one of the largest publishers of weekly newspapers in the country.

ECM has 50 individual publications reaching more than 600,000 households across central Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

“We are excited to welcome the ECM associates to our APG team in Minnesota,” said APG Chairman Stephen Adams. “Our company is headquartered here, and my family has a long newspaper history in the state of Minnesota. ECM has done a fine job navigating through difficult times, and producing the highest quality print and digital products. We commend them for their efforts, and wish the Andersen family the best in their future endeavors.”

ECM President Marge Winkelman said the sale brings strength and a progressive outlook for the future. “This is an exciting opportunity for ECM to join the Adam’s Publishing Group. The merger will add incredible synergy to the marketplace for our readers, advertisers and associates,” said Winkelman.

“We have been very fortunate to have had the Andersen leadership the last 40 years, first with Elmer Andersen and the last 20 years with Julian Andersen. “We look forward to our transition into another highly regarded family-run organization and working closely with Stephen and Mark Adams,” she added.

“This is truly great news. ECM is a media company of great integrity and a proud tradition. We are extremely pleased to welcome them to APG,” said Chris Knight, president of APG Minnesota.

APG is a family-owned media company headquartered in St. Louis Park, Minn., that produces community newspapers, events, digital products and specialty magazines serving communities in Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maryland and Ohio. APG’s publishing operations include 63 community newspapers, 18 shoppers, 20 specialty publications and 81 associated websites.

APG owns the northern Minnesota publications Mesabi Daily News, Hibbing Daily Tribune, Grand Rapids Herald-Review, Chisholm Tribune Press, Pilot Independent in Walker and Manney’s Shoppers. It also owns several southern Minnesota publications, including the Faribault Daily News, Owatonna People’s Press, Waseca County News, St. Peter Herald, Northfield News, Lonsdale Area News-Review, Le Sueur News-Herald, Kenyon Leader, Le Center Leader and several shoppers.

The Adams family also owns radio stations, outdoor advertising companies and Camping World/Good Sam, a national distributor of recreational vehicles and camping-related products and services.

ECM, founded by the former Minnesota governor in 1976, has coverage spanning 26 counties, and encompassing a large share of the Twin Cities metro region. It also includes 23 websites.

ECM also owns the Princeton, Minn., web printing plant.

Terms of the APG/ECM deal were not disclosed.