Shaw Media acquires Suburban Life publications

DIXON – Shaw Media, which owns The MidWeek, has purchased Suburban Life publications and affiliated operations from GateHouse Media. The purchase is effective today.

Suburban Life, based in Downers Grove, is a group of 22 weekly newspapers in Chicago's western suburbs. Suburban Life distributes in DuPage, Kane, McHenry, Will and Cook counties. The Suburban Life publications include the Elmhurst Press, Wheaton Leader, Downers Grove Reporter, Berwyn Life, as well as other titles, and the website mysuburbanlife.com.

"We are proud to welcome Suburban Life to our growing portfolio of family-owned, community-focused media operations," said Tom Shaw, Shaw Media President and CEO. "Our ongoing commitment to excellence and growth has helped us prosper, even in the most challenging times. We are extremely excited to be returning these respected titles to their family-owned roots.”

In markets where Shaw currently operates, Shaw acquired the St. Charles Republican, the Batavia Republican and the Geneva Republican, all in Kane County, and the Farmside, in southwestern McHenry County. Shaw Media is based in Dixon, with newspapers, websites, magazines and other niche publications in St. Charles, Crystal Lake, DeKalb, Grayslake, Dixon, Sterling, Princeton, and Morris, and in Newton and Creston, Iowa. Shaw is the third oldest continuously owned and operated family media company in the nation.

"Adding Suburban Life expands our print and digital footprint in the Chicago suburban region, and will give us opportunities to better serve our readers and advertisers," said John Rung, Shaw Media's Senior Vice President for media operations. Rung announced that J. Tom Shaw – the publisher at Shaw's Kane County Chronicle in St. Charles – will also serve as publisher of the Suburban Life publications.

Michael Reed, Chief Executive Officer of GateHouse Media, said, “Illinois is and will continue to be an important market for GateHouse Media. However, given the Chicago marketplace, Suburban Life is an extremely good fit for Shaw Media based on their penetration and focus in the surrounding Chicago market. We believe the employees, readers and advertisers will benefit long-term given Shaw Media’s focus on the region.”

In addition, Shaw Media has agreed to participate in adhance media, GateHouse Media’s online private ad exchange, to fill unsold inventory for Shaw Media’s digital properties. adhance media’s private ad exchange comprises more than 500 local, hyper-local and major city newspapers and broadcast sites nationwide. By leveraging the combined scale of these sites, adhance media provides agencies and advertisers with a wider national reach with locally-targeted audiences.

"It is exciting to welcome Suburban Life Publications to Shaw Media,” said Don Bricker, group general manager for Shaw Media and publisher of the Daily Chronicle and The MidWeek. “We believe there is a strong future for local media companies, and they are a perfect fit as we seek to grow and strengthen our company for the long term."

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