2017-09-19 / Front Page

Spencer Evening World Publishing, Inc. acquired by Hoosier Times, Inc.

Spencer Evening World Publishing, Inc. will join ranks with an established media group to continue offering the tradition of local news, with a war chest of resources to expand the product in relative and exciting ways.

Hoosier Times, Inc. a part of Schurz Communications, has entered into an agreement to purchase the Hoosier Topics, Clay City News, Spencer Evening World, and Ellettsville Journal.

While the process is currently in transition, the transaction is expected to be complete by Oct. 31.

“As a family company ourselves, we are honored that SEWP, an employee owned, highly respected media company, would choose Schurz Communications to acquire this well cared for local media operation,” said Schurz Communications CEO Todd Schurz.

Combining SEWP with the Hoosier Times newspaper group is expected to make both operations deeper in talent and resources.

“At a time in which newspaper companies are under great pressures, we believe combining these two media resources will only strengthen two already solid operations,” Schurz added.

SEWP President Tim Lewis shared, “Over the past few years, we have diligently explored various options to make Spencer Evening World Publishing, Inc. a sustainable company for our community. While we have made strides in that direction, it has become apparent that we needed a much larger foundation, along with the synergies that can come with it, to totally achieve this goal of sustainability.

“Being acquired by Hoosier Times, Inc. and Schurz Communications brings the much needed infrastructure and resources to the Spencer Evening World and related papers that will fortify the future of our hometown papers,” Lewis added.

Schurz Communications Vice-President Cory Bollinger expressed his excitement of adding SEWP’s publications to its family of newspapers.

“When my family was young and growing we lived in Owen County and our kids attended Owen Valley schools,” he said. “The Evening World had constant refrigerator rights as we cut out articles of interest and pictures of friends, family and our church covered in the Evening World.”

According to Bollinger, the Hoosier Times and SEW will learn from each other as part of a newly-expanded Hoosier Times, while maintaining unique local identities as community print and digital publications. “Combined, we have a much brighter opportunity to take on the challenges presented as we embrace the digital, mobile-everywhere world of information sharing, while continuing to provide the traditional newspaper experience,” he said.

Schurz officials relay that the parent company has much in common with SEWP, and has respect for the values and tradition of the family owned company. Spencer Evening World Publishing had been a valued asset of the Gillaspy family prior to selling to the employees in 2011.

“We respect the care of and commitment to the employees, community, readers and advertisers Spencer Evening World Publishing has provided,” said Bollinger. “We will carry on this commitment as we know that a strong, talented workforce along with solid engagement with our customer base and a healthy community are the foundations of a local media company.”

The history of the Spencer Evening World dates back to June 29, 1927, with the George Purcell family. The publication would see a few more owners before being purchased by T. Perry and Aeline Wesley, who maintained ownership for the next 12 years. John T. and Meme Gillaspy purchased the paper in mid-1960, and the family owned and operated the SEW and other publications until it became an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) in July 2011.

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