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Shaw Media to acquire Ottawa Times

John Rung, president and CEO of Shaw Media
John Rung, president and CEO of Shaw Media

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 become 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 The Times 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 of the deal were not disclosed.

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 five 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.”

Founded in Dixon, Illinois, Shaw Media has been privately owned by the Shaw family since its founding 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.

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