Shaw Media buys Small Newspaper Group’s The Times of Ottawa, Illinois


Shaw Media is acquiring The Times of Ottawa, Illinois, and related assets from Small Newspaper Group, the family-owned publishers announced in late March.

With the acquisition, which was expected to close in the first week of April, Shaw’s portfolio now includes more than 150 titles in Illinois and Iowa. The sale includes Starved Rock Country magazine, a regional travel publication.

Acquiring The Times meets the company’s criteria for expansion, Shaw President and CEO John Rung said in the sale announcement.

“When we consider an acquisition, it has to make perfect sense, both financially and strategically. The Ottawa Times checks both boxes,” Rung said. “The addition of The Times to our portfolio of local newspapers makes Shaw Media a stronger company.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, the media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, N.M., represented Small Newspaper Group in the transaction.

Small Newspaper President Len R. Small said his Kankakee, Ill.-based company sought “a smaller and more manageable footprint in the Midwest.”

“This marks the end of an 80-year journey with the newspaper that has been a source of pride,” Small said. “We did our best to serve our communities, and the awards we received speak for themselves. It has been a privilege to work with a wonderful group of people. We wish them well with the new owners, who have a reputation for ethics and quality journalism that is well deserved.” 

In September 2005, The Daily Times, based in Ottawa, merged with its sister paper, The Times-Press, based in Streator, to form The Times. The paper is published five days a week, Monday through Thursday and Saturday.