Right Time, Right Place
McLean Communications Publisher Sharron McCarthy
Photo by John Hession
Although I've had the pleasure of staying in many lovely hotels over the years (having a husband in the business), I had never stayed at a Ritz-Carlton. I figured this would be the perfect environment in which to make the pitch.
My magazine conference was held at the Ritz in Westchester, NY, this past September and I was hoping my friend Jamie Trowbridge from Yankee Publishing would be among the attendees. Half the fun at these conferences is mingling with other publishing people, but I had something really important to ask Jamie. I wanted him to buy our company, McLean Communications, which includes this publication, New Hamphire Home, New Hampshire Business Review, Parenting NH and a host of custom publications and events.
I had received the news in August that the McLean family, after whom the company was named, had decided to exit the business. William McLean III, a longtime newspaper industry executive, philanthropist, devoted family man and gentleman, had died the previous year. Bill was an amazing human being. With his enthusiasm for publishing departing along with him, the family made the difficult decision to sell off their businesses - including McLean Communications. I knew immediately that I had to ask for a chance to make something happen - to control our destiny to some degree - and I was given a management preemptive, a chance to see what I could make happen.
My first thoughts were lofty. Hey, I'll buy the company, I thought. I met with some helpful and professional local bankers, investment experts, industry professionals and legal counsel, but the prospect was daunting. As an "older Mom" of amazing young girls, Lana (7) and Melody (3), I had these flashes of seeing them less than I do now. The financial realities combined with my ongoing (and often overwhelming) desire to keep everything perfectly balanced made me rethink my grandiose plan.
After about a week of meetings and deep thought it became clear that the best outcome would be to identify a buyer that offered a like-minded approach to doing business, a company that valued talented employees and one that could offer growth potential to our lines of business. Yankee Publishing was the very first thought I had. Turns out Jamie was already interested in McLean Communications. It had been quite some time since Yankee made an acquisition but we hit a sweet spot for them with our mix of products and our reputation as a solid publishing company. It was deemed a great match by all involved.
The sale of McLean Communications to Yankee Publishing was finalized just after Christmas. We are now part of a company with longtime roots in publishing and they are based right here in Dublin, NH. Together we will move our companies forward with an effort to learn from each other and prosper in print, electronic media, events and custom publishing. What an amazing way to bring in a new year.
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