Adams Publishing Group buys newspapers in Idaho

By the Idaho Press-Tribune Staff

The Pioneer News Group Co., parent company of the Idaho Press-Tribune, has sold its media division assets to family-owned Adams Publishing Group.

The sale included 22 daily and weekly newspapers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Utah, along with a commercial print facility. In the Treasure Valley, in addition to the Idaho Press-Tribune, the sale included the Meridian Press, the Kuna Melba News and the Emmett Messenger Index.

In Idaho, the Idaho State-Journal in Pocatello is included in the sale. Adams previously purchased the Post Register in Idaho Falls.

The sale was finalized Nov. 1. Terms were not disclosed.

Idaho Press-Tribune Publisher Matt Davison said local readers aren’t likely to see any changes to their newspaper right away.

“They let the markets make local decisions, and they have no editorial agenda,” Davison said of the new ownership. “They believe in the value of local news and are investing in it.”

The Idaho Press-Tribune’s roots go back to 1883 in Caldwell, just months after the city’s establishment. Various newspaper startups and acquisitions eventually led to the Idaho Free Press and the Caldwell News Tribune, which were both purchased by the Scripps League in the 1950s. Pioneer Newspapers gained ownership in 1975, and in 1980, the two papers were merged, becoming the Idaho Press-Tribune.

Adams Publishing Group owns and operates more than 100 community newspapers in 11 states, including the acquisition of five newspaper publishing companies in 2016. The company is based in Minneapolis.

Pioneer Newspapers was formed by James G. Scripps in 1986. The company was owned by Leighton Wood and his children Stedem, Marnie, Heather, Laura and eight next-generation family members. Marnie Roozen was chairwoman of the company’s Board of Directors.

“It has been an honor for my family to serve our communities over these many generations,” Roozen said in a prepared statement. “We cherish the friendships we have created with our employees and truly feel we are a family. It is because of our dedication to our communities and employees that we are so pleased that Adams Publishing Group is purchasing our media division. Adams shares our values as well as a deep commitment to the future of community newspapers. It is heartening to know our papers will be in very capable hands.”

The Adams family also owns radio stations, outdoor advertising companies, a wine distribution business, label printing companies and a large interest in Camping World Holdings, a publicly traded national network of RV dealers, affinity programs, the Good Sam Club, and other RV related products and services.

“We’re very excited to welcome the Pioneer group of community newspapers, commercial print facilities, and other print and digital products and services to APG,” stated Steve Adams of the Adams Publishing Group. “We’re especially pleased to welcome Pioneer’s over 500 dedicated associates to our community newspaper group.

“The Wood family, along with Pioneer’s dedicated employees and management team, has done a stellar job of creating new and compelling products and services, both in print and digital, in the face of an ever-changing media landscape,” Adams continued. “We commend their efforts, and look forward to continuing their proud journalistic tradition in the communities Pioneer serves.”

Other Pioneer newspapers included in the sale are the Ellensburg Daily Record, the Klamath Falls Herald and News, the Lake County Examiner, the Klamath Falls Nickel, the Skagit Valley Herald, the Anacortes American, the Burlington Argus, the Sedro-Woolley Courier-Times, the Stanwood Camano News, the Logan Herald Journal, the Tremonton Leader, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the Belgrade News, the Idaho State Journal, the Montpelier News-Examiner, the Preston Citizen, the Rexburg Standard Journal and the Teton Valley News.