LANARK – Shaw Media, owner of Sauk Valley Media, has acquired the weekly Prairie Advocate from owners Lynn and Tom Kocal, the companies announced Thursday.
Tom Kocal, owner and publisher of the Prairie Advocate for the past 38 years, will continue as editor of the publication.
“The Prairie Advocate has been a very successful publication in northwestern Illinois for many years, and it fits into Sauk Valley’s footprint perfectly,” said Trevis Mayfield, publisher at Sauk Valley and vice president of Shaw Media. “Our intention is to build on the foundation that the Kocals and their employees have built.”
Tom Shaw, CEO of Shaw Media, said his company was “pleased to bring the Prairie Advocate into our growing portfolio of family-owned, community-focused publications.”
The two companies have had a good relationship for many years, Mayfield said.
“We have had a longstanding, positive relationship with the Prairie Advocate and its ownership,” Mayfield said. “The Advocate has been a commercial printing customer of SVM for years, so we were very familiar with their business. I’m confident this transaction will be good for the markets we serve and the employees of the combined operations.”
Kocal said he had enjoyed serving the communities in the Advocate’s coverage area in the past, but is also looking forward to the future.
“From our family to yours, we thank you for blessing us with your support and friendship,” Kocal wrote in his last column as owner. “The year 2014 will unquestionably bring about many changes in all of our lives, but it also marks a new beginning for the Prairie Advocate.”
Shaw Media, which has been owned by the Shaw family since it was founded in 1851, operates properties in suburban Chicago, northern Illinois, and Iowa.