consultants are sandburs

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Billboards and French wines; and a liking for George W. Bush are parts of the personality of billionaire Stephen Adams.

Bio stuff, here (favorable), and here (Wikipedia). Image source, here (see also, homepage here). According to this Bloomberg link, Adams is the billboard king of diverse private holdings

Mr. Stephen Adams has been Chairman of Affinity Group Holding, LLC. since December 1988. Mr. Adams serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Affinity Group Inc. Mr. Adams has served as Chairman of privately owned banking, bottling, publishing, outdoor advertising, television and radio companies in which he holds a controlling ownership interest. Mr. Adams serves as the Controlling Shareholder of Adams Outdoor Advertising Inc., the managing general partner of Adams Outdoor Advertising Ltd. Partnership. Mr. Adams has been Chairman of Adams Outdoor Advertising Inc. since 1983 and serves as its Director. He serves as Director of Affinity Group Holding LLC.

Stephen Adams is of interest in Ramsey/Anoka County, because of the Adams Publishing Group LLC takeover of ECM Publihers, Inc., of Coon Rapids (reported by Strib, this link).

What might be an older image of Adams, this screen capture from here (no second source found online for story):

Item opening shown. Article continues ...

That image looks to be the same person, and the previously noted Bush supporter info squares with screen capture detail. Not to be confused with Steven Adams, a younger, taller man from New Zeland with different professional risks.

A closing blog screen capture, and hat tip, for initiating community notice that Stephen Adams is a person of local interest above and beyond his firm's purchase of a long-standing actual local newspaper outlet:

click image to read - this link for entire report

Will "newspaper wars" arise again, with the change in ownership likely to result in two right-wing publications?

Perhaps an entrepreneurial spirit may arise among moderates to enter low-budget into things much as was done via the insurgent entry of an operation without capital tied up in plant and equipment; where such a moderate entrepreneur might undercut both of the present two-some in pricing:

By now, if you’re still riding the turnip truck, you are asking, “Why in 2015, with everyone and their dog operating a website, is anyone paying taxpayer money to print this stuff?” Plenty of politicians have been saying the same thing since the dawn of the internet age, and every year someone throws up a bill to let cities and counties drop the print thing (and its cost) and do exactly that. But the 340-­member Minnesota Newspaper Association — which represents both Kysylyczyn and the Union in this little fight — has successfully lobbied against such proposals in order to protect what amounts to a tasty little sinecure.

“Ninety-nine point nine percent of the people don’t give a hoot about public notices,” says Anoka County commissioner Matt Look. “What was the last time you or anyone you know read one of them. We’ve gone before the legislature and argued to have the law changed, but the Newspaper Association has influence.”

Look says all that he and his six other Anoka board members did by turning the contract over to Kysylyczyn “is save some money.”

How much money? About $50,000 this year, according to Kysylyczyn. (He won the 2015 contract by bidding $15,000.)

[link in original] That price per annual contract could be ratcheted down to less than the 2015 quoted $15,000; although I'd bet a dog biscuit that the Anoka County Record would still plug along, even were it so undercut.

Diversity of content is key to local newspaper readers, not the leagal ad income dimension of local press issues, and ABC Newspapers - ECM Publishers do put out an actual paper newspaper, available at convenience stores, etc.

If Adams does not poison editorial local discretion, in imposing economies of scale, the local public can benefit. If Adams goes the other way to two right wing outfits in competition; a new market entrant could arise. I hope they keep Mandy and other staff, and keep their noses out of editorial concerns.

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