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Adams Publishing Group expands with purchase of Anderson family-owned ECM Publishers weeklies serving central Minnesota, Wisconsin

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Family-owned Adams Publishing Group said Aug. 10 that it is acquiring ECM Publishers Inc., the Coon Rapids, Minn.-based company that is one of the larger publishers of weeklies in the U.S.

ECM, founded by former Minnesota Gov. Elmer L. Anderson in 1976, publishes 50 weeklies reaching more than 600,000 households across central Minnesota and western Wisconsin. 

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is representing ECM Publishers in the sale. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

ECM President Marge Winkelman called the sale “an exciting opportunity.” 

“The merger will add incredible synergy to the marketplace for our readers, advertisers and associates,” Winkelman said. “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.”

St. Louis Park, Minn.-headquartered Adams Publishing Group operations include 63 community newspapers, 18 shoppers, 20 specialty publications and 81 associated websites serving communities in Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maryland, Idaho, Michigan and Ohio.

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.

“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.”