Hersam Acorn Newspapers had been waiting patiently for the right opportunity to substantially grow its business. The opportunity was finally realized in June this year when the company, based in Ridgefield, CT, purchased a large cluster of paid weeklies and shoppers – along with a substantial commercial printing operation – from Journal Communications.
The acquired publications, including Hometown Publications in Connecticut (see map below), and shoppers in Massachusetts and Vermont, help Hersam Acorn significantly extend their foothold in New England, and especially in Connecticut, where the core of the original company was established.
The company now operates 19 weekly publications in Connecticut, assorted shoppers and weeklies in New York, Vermont and Massachusetts, and a commercial printing facility in Trumbull, CT.
Marty Hersam and Tom Nash, the two managing partners of Hersam Acorn who represent their shared family ownership in the business, have increased the size of their company many times over with the acquisition. Hersam acts as the company’s chief operating officer and Nash as group publisher.
In many respects, the timing and size of the deal fit like a glove for the company, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary as Hersam Acorn Newspapers – a merger of two separate family-owned companies – and was looking for growth opportunities.
“The acquisition gives Hersam Acorn a wonderful platform from which to grow. We look forward to building these businesses. In Connecticut alone our advertising and editorial reach extends from Greenwich to New Haven with 180,000 every week,” explained Marty Hersam.
Both Hersam and Nash were raised in newspaper families, with the business passed down from generation to generation. Marty Hersam’s great-grandfather, John E. Hersam, founded the New Canaan Advertiser in 1908, the genesis of Hersam Publishing. The Darien Times, the other paper eventually owned by Hersam prior to the merger, was a start-up. Marty started working with his father’s company as general manager on a full-time basis after he graduated from college.
Karl S. Nash, Tom’s father, founded Acorn Press in 1937 when he purchased the Ridgefield Press. Four other weeklies were either launched or acquired over the years leading up to the merger with Hersam Publishing in 1997. Tom started as a reporter at his father’s Wilton Bulletin after college and eventually transitioned into a management role.
Hersam Acorn Publishing purchased the Greenwich Post in 2003 before turning its eye to the Journal Communications assets.