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Shaw Media to buy Ottawa Times from Small Newspapers

OTTAWA – Shaw Media has agreed to acquire the The Times of Ottawa and its assets from Small Newspaper Group, company leaders announced Wednesday.

The Times will be the latest addition to Sterling-based Shaw’s portfolio of publications, which includes more than 150 titles in northern Illinois and Iowa. Shaw President and CEO John Rung said it was a great fit for the company.

“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.”

The sale is expected to close the first week of April. Terms were not disclosed.

Shaw Media is the parent company to Sauk Valley Media.

Small Newspapers President Len R. Small said his company sought a smaller and more manageable footprint in the Midwest. Kankakee-based Small owns two other daily newspapers and several magazines and digital services in Illinois and Minnesota.

“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 Times is published 5 days a week, Monday through Thursday and Saturday, and is online daily at MyWebTimes.com.

“When I think back on our experiences in Ottawa, I am reminded of the good people who supported the community by their efforts,” Tom Small, executive vice president of Small Newspaper Group, said. “From Stan White to Mike Bertok and all the fine people, too many to mention.”

Shaw Media has been privately owned by the Shaw family since its founding in Dixon by B.F. Shaw in 1851. The company’s media holdings include websites, newspapers, magazines, Pro Football Weekly, a video production unit and a digital marketing services division.

Locally, Shaw Media publishes the Daily Gazette in Sterling, the Telegraph in Dixon, Ogle County Newspapers, the Bureau County Republican in Princeton and the weekly Prairie Advocate.

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