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Yankee Publishing looks to future with NH-oriented magazines

New Hampshire Union Leader

December 29. 2012 10:55PM

MANCHESTER - After more than 75 years giving the world a glimpse into life throughout New England, Yankee Publishing Inc. of Dublin has added several New Hampshire-centric specialty magazines to its portfolio.

In a transaction that closed Friday, Yankee acquired the business of McLean Communications, which produces four regularly published Granite State-oriented magazines, and well as a variety of custom publications.

"I've admired the way McLean has grown its media business in New Hampshire," said Yankee Publishing President Jamie Trowbridge. "They specialize in niche publications, and those are going quite well. We feel they will continue to do quite well."

Yankee picks up New Hampshire Magazine, New Hampshire Business Review, Parenting New Hampshire and New Hampshire Home.

"I'm very excited. It's something that I think is going to be good for Yankee," Trowbridge said. "We have been working with the same material for a long time; having new people and new brands to work on will be refreshing for the whole staff."

The McLean magazines will continue to be published from the company's offices in Manchester.

"We hope we will improve both of our businesses through best practices of each," Trowbridge said. "McLean gets almost all of its revenue from advertising; at Yankee, we get most of our revenue from consumers, either through subscriptions or single-copy sales."

Online ventures make up a growing chunk of Yankee's business. The company's Internet presence goes beyond computer-generated versions of its Yankee Magazine and Old Farmer's Almanac.

"We approach digital mainly from the perspective of e-commerce right now. We sell our stuff and other people's stuff, which features a lot of merchandise that we source on a wholesale basis," Trowbridge said.

Even with a growing Web business, the acquisition signals a belief that putting ink to paper continues to hold value for media companies, advertisers and consumers. The newly expanded company is looking to grow the business of developing special-purpose publications for public and private entities.

Under contract to the state Liquor Commission, McLean prepares and publishes Celebrate New Hampshire for the state liquor stores and publishes guides for Chambers of Commerce based in Nashua and Manchester.

Yankee produces the official visitors guide for the New Hampshire Department of Travel and Tourism.

"They also have a very healthy custom publishing business; it's more robust than ours," Trowbridge said. "For both businesses, (a goal is) growing the custom publishing."

Yankee was approached by McLean's president and publisher, Sharon McCarthy, in October about buying the company, after its owner, a Pennsylvania-based family business, decided to sell off its assets.

"I've always been a fan of Sharon and a fan of the publications, and we were able to make it happen," he said.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but Trowbridge said Yankee bought the assets of McLean Communications. Yankee filed paperwork with the state prior to the sale creating YPI Aquisition LLC and will operate its newly acquired publications as a new wholly-owned subsidiary that will also be known as McLean Communications.

Independent Publications Inc., a McLean affiliated company, also announced Friday that it is seeking a buyer for its newspapers in New Hampshire, including The Telegraph of Nashua and several weekly publications.

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