MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Adams Publishing Group LLC announced July 1 that it has acquired the Antigo Daily Journal, Journal Express, and all associated digital and print products.
Mark Adams, Adams Publishing Group CEO, said, “The Berner family and their employees have a long history of serving the community of Antigo. We look forward to continuing that tradition. Antigo is exactly the type of community we look for as we continue to expand our company, and this market fits well with other publishing properties we own in the great state of Wisconsin.”
The Berner family arrived in the north central Wisconsin community in 1884. While the patriarch, Henry, was employed as a shoemaker, the children were educated in Antigo and two brothers, Henry and Fred, struck out and dabbled in newspapering in Columbus, Wis., around the turn of the century.
They apparently liked it and returned to Antigo and bought a weekly, the Antigo Journal. At the time, the community was very small, but they launched a daily newspaper on Sept. 5, 1905, and a combination of family and hard work made it a very successful publishing and commercial printing enterprise. Following a long and often difficult stretch through two world wars and the shattering Depression, Fred died and Henry retired, turning the business over to sons, Artemas and Henry. After passing of those principals, the business was operated by Marie F. Berner, the widow of Artemas.
Following the 1963 death of her husband, Artemas, Marie was a tremendous success as a publisher, a recognized leader and an important element in the core of the Antigo and Langlade County community.
After her death in 2011, her son, Fred, who has been associated with the newspaper for more than 50 years, has led the Antigo Daily Journal. It is a still a true family operation with a strong reputation for news coverage, integrity and fairness, just as the original Berner Brothers had as a goal when they launched their daily newspaper dream in 1905.
“Antigo is a great community with a strong history in local journalism. We believe we can advance this important mission with the support of the talented employees at the Daily Journal”, said Jeff Patterson, president APG Central Division. “We look forward to uniting their efforts with our other award-winning publications in Wisconsin.”
In southeast Wisconsin, APG currently operates daily newspapers in Janesville, Beloit, Fort Atkinson, Marinette and Watertown, and weeklies in Sun Prairie,Waterloo, Cottage Grove, Cambridge, Lake Mills, Milton, Waunakee, DeForest and Lodi. In northwest Wisconsin, Adams Publishing Group operates the newspapers in Eau Claire, Rice Lake, Spooner, Hayward, Phillips, Park Falls and Ashland.
Adams Publishing Group owns and operates 34 daily newspapers and more than 100 weekly newspapers in 20 states. In addition to its community newspaper company, the Adams family operates radio stations, outdoor advertising, a wine distribution business, Camping World, Good Sam Club, and Gander Outdoors.
The sale was handled for the sellers by Cribb, Greene & Cope.