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Dolan Media acquires Lawyers Weekly

Lawyers WeeklyDolan Media Company, publisher of the Wisconsin Law Journal, has acquired the 14 newspapers and associated Web sites of Lawyers Weekly, Inc., a leading publisher for the legal profession.

The deal closed Tuesday, Aug. 31. Purchase price and terms were not disclosed.

The transaction was announced jointly by James P. Dolan, president and chief executive of Dolan Media, and Susan P. Hall, chairman of Lawyers Weekly, Inc.

The newspapers being acquired include the national title Lawyers Weekly USA as well as Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, Ohio Lawyers Weekly, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Missouri Lawyers Weekly, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly and South Carolina Lawyers Weekly.

Also acquired were three regional newspapers serving in-house and corporate attorneys, Atlantic Coast In-House, New England In-House and Midwest In-House, and two newspapers covering law for the medical community, Missouri Medical Law Report and Virginia Medical Law Report.

The transaction included sophisticated Web sites allowing subscribers to the newspapers to obtain current professional news, case briefs and insights as well as years of archival information.

The acquired newspapers have nearly 93,000 circulation and reach approximately 150,000 attorneys, or about 15 percent of the profession in the United States.

“These are high quality, must-read publications and we are delighted to be associated with them,” Dolan said in making the announcement. “We look forward to working with their brilliant current staff members.”

Except for a small number of overlapping corporate positions which were eliminated immediately at the closing, Dolan said he planned no job reductions among the 124 Lawyers Weekly employees and in fact was likely to increase staff in the future.

“Lawyers Weekly products have always been highly respected in the legal community, and Dolan Media is firmly committed to maintaining the same level of editorial excellence,” said Hall. “This is an excellent opportunity to expand the newspapers’ editorial mission with the additional resources of a larger company.”

Wisconsin Law Journal Publisher Ann Richmond said, “We are very pleased to have these quality legal publications added to the Dolan Media family of newspapers. The Wisconsin Law Journal will continue to provide the valuable legal news that the state’s lawyers have come to expect. I anticipate that Lawyers Weekly’s renowned legal content will only help in that endeavor.”

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Dolan Media Company

Lawyers Weekly, Inc., dates from 1972 when it launched Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly in Boston, a must-read paper for members of the Massachusetts bar. As its success grew, the company repeatedly launched new newspapers and grew into books, newsletters and other products, all emphasizing very high quality content.

Its principal operations are on West Street in central Boston, a location that Dolan said will continue to be its base. State offices are in Richmond, VA; Raleigh, NC; Novi, MI; and St. Louis.

The legal profession had always been Dolan Media Company’s largest customer group. With this transaction, law now provides more than half of its revenues, Dolan said.

Closely held Dolan Media, based in Minneapolis, is a leading provider of highly targeted, specialized business information products and services. It operates daily and weekly business newspapers, including court and commercial newspapers and business journals, in 21 U.S. metro markets. In Wisconsin, those publications include the Wisconsin Law Journal, The Daily Reporter newspaper and Wisconsin Builder magazine.

Dolan’s Greene & Associates telemarketing unit is a leading business-to-business teleservices company based in Lincolnshire, IL, with call centers in Manchester and Independence, IA.

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