The Naples-based Hoffmann Family of Companies will create Hoffmann Media Group with the July 1 acquisition of Florida Media Group LLC, the publisher of nine weekly newspapers, including Florida Weekly.
Hoffmann Media Group will be led by CEO Pason Gaddis, co-founder and CEO of Fort Myers-based Florida Media Group, which publishes newspapers with a combined weekly circulation of more than 220,000, the company reports. Hoffmann Media Group plans to expand quickly throughout the United States in smaller communities that have lost their hometown news, or acquire struggling newspapers that may not be able to maintain their legacy format, according to a Hoffmann news release on Wednesday.
“We are actively seeking opportunities throughout Florida and the U.S. to bring more papers into the Hoffmann Media Group. Through economies of scale, we can work together to maintain these essential news sources so many small communities rely on,” said Gaddis, a 28-year veteran in legacy and digital media and a former business development manager for Gannett newspapers, which locally publishes the Fort Myers News-Press and Naples Daily News.
“Our go-forward is to actively acquire existing media companies—smaller, regional and individual operators not only in Florida but throughout the country,” he said.
The Hoffmann family has given Gaddis the capital necessary to acquire small to medium media companies to focus on print and digital operations, he said, noting that Florida Weekly has invested heavily in its digital service business over the years. “You need that pillar of community journalism but you also need a way to pay for it,” Gaddis said. “You really need a well-run, structured business in both service lines.”
The existing Florida Media Group staff of more than 75 employees will remain on staff under the new company formation, Gaddis said. In addition to print and news, Hoffmann Media Group also will offer digital services such as targeted online advertising, search engine optimization, website design and other services.
“There has been an absence in small-town media. The high school basketball team or the local Little League and mom-and-pop businesses don’t get as much coverage, if any. It’s a staple to the community and we’re going to bring it back and maintain it in as many places throughout the country as we can,” said Geoff Hoffmann, co-CEO of Hoffmann Family of Companies.
Newspapers in the Florida Media Group, which was established about 15 years ago, include The Ave Maria Sun, Babcock Ranch Telegraph, Bonita Springs Florida Weekly, Charlotte Florida Weekly, Fort Myers Florida Weekly, Key West Florida Weekly, Naples Florida Weekly, Palm Beach Florida Weekly and Wellen Park Journal.
The purchase price for Florida Media Group was not available. In addition to Gaddis, who heads up advertising for the publication group, the media company was formed by Jeffrey Cull and Jim Dickerson. Cull oversees the editorial side of the newspapers while Dickerson focuses on production.
The Hoffmann Family of Companies’ diversified local acquisitions also include the Hertz Arena, the Florida Everblades, the Old Collier and Old Corkscrew golf clubs and more than 30 other businesses acquired in Southwest Florida. The Hoffmanns have amassed more than 85 companies and brands with 200 real estate locations around the world.