Grimes, McGovern & Associates (Publishing Group) represented Rankin Publishing Inc., a “leading print publication,” in the sale of their two publishing brands acquired by Better Newspapers Inc.

March 7, 2023
Press Release | Better Newspapers, Inc.

Better Newspapers, Inc. (BNI), headquartered in Mascoutah, Illinois, announced today that it had finalized the purchase of two long-standing magazines in Arcola, Illinois, to expand its Central Illinois publication roster. The two publications are the 111-year-old Broom, Brush & Mop (BBM) magazine and Discover magazine, an annual tourism guide. Both magazines were sold by Rankin Publishing, Inc.

Greg Hoskins, the owner of BNI, noted that both publications began with the Arcola Record-Herald, which BNI purchased in July 2022. He said the two publications add resources and diversity to the company’s growing portfolio. Linda Rankin, the owner of Rankin Publishing, Inc., said BBM began more than 111 years ago as a regular feature in the newspaper. It was called the Broom Corn Corner and focused on the broom and broom corn industry, which has a rich history in Arcola. Arcola is still home to several related businesses, including the largest manufacturer of cleaning products in the U.S.

The newspaper feature about the industry morphed into a newsletter titled Broom and Broom Corn News. Rankin and her husband, the late Don Rankin, purchased the newspaper and the broom publication in 1977 and changed the name of the niche publication to Broom, Brush & Mop magazine to reflect the changing needs of the industry. It has become the authoritative resource for industry information with an international audience.

Rankin said she’s pleased that the magazine is “back where it began.” She said her husband also would have been happy that the magazine would continue to be published in Arcola.  Discover is another publication that Rankin and her husband developed when they owned the newspaper. It started out as a flyer promoting local tourism, she said. It is now the leading tourism guide throughout East Central Illinois.

Hoskins said BNI is well positioned to continue to grow Discover magazine to promote tourism across the middle third of the state.
When Rankins sold the Arcola newspaper, they focused on niche magazines, adding two more titles sold last November to RDG Media in Florida. With the sale of the two remaining publications to BNI, Rankin is retiring but said she’s unsure what that will include.
She said she plans to stay in Arcola. “Arcola is home, and this community has been very good to Don and I,” she said. “It’s a nice place to visit but an even better place to live.”  She has two grown sons. Jason, the oldest, is senior vice president of advertising for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and its publications. Jason is a partner in the law firm Hepler Broom in Edwardsville.

BNI owns more than 30 newspapers in Illinois and Missouri. It is a family-owned and operated company founded in 1991. Holdings include a press plant in Altamont, Illinois, and the Illinois Business Journal in Springfield, Illinois. Hoskins’ wife, Linda, works in the editorial department in Mascoutah, while his son, Scott, is the Metro East General Manager, and son, Mark, manages the press plant and newspapers in the Altamont area.

Advisory services for Rankin were exclusively provided by Tim Smith, Senior Associate of Grimes, McGovern & Associates.

For more information about Better Newspapers Inc., email:  [email protected] or call (618) 566-8282.

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