Pioneer Group sold to Hearst

The Lake County Star is pleased to announce that its parent company, The Pioneer Group, has been acquired by Hearst -- one of the most trusted and dynamic names in media and information. The announcement was made Tuesday by the Batdorff family and President of Hearst Newspapers, Mark Aldam.

Pioneer Group owners Jack and John Batdorff said Hearst will be a great fit for employees and for the communities they have served for four generations.

"We have every confidence that Hearst will be good stewards of the community, and will be a progressive community partner, a goal we've tried to fulfill over the years," Jack Batdorff said. "They have a reputation for giving back and for taking care of their people, which has always been important to our family."

"Selling the Pioneer Group was not an easy decision, but we knew the time would eventually come, and I can't imagine a better fit for our employees and community as a whole. Hearst has a wonderful reputation as a newspaper operator, as well as the resources and vision to build upon what we've set out to achieve over four generations. It's bittersweet, but I can't imagine a better ending to this story for us, nor a better beginning for our Pioneer Group family,” John Batdorff said.

"We are proud to follow four generations of Batdorff family leadership in these central Michigan communities,” said Aldam. “This addition is an essential part of our plan to expand further across Michigan.

Star Publisher John Norton will continue in his role following the acquisition. "Hearst has made a major investment in digital marketing solutions, which we can now roll out into our markets, adding more choices and value for our customers," said Norton. "It's going to be exciting for all of us to be a part of this growth step," he said.

About Hearst

Hearst is one of the nation's largest diversified media, information and services companies with more than 360 businesses. Its major interests include ownership in cable television networks such as A&E, HISTORY, Lifetime and ESPN; majority ownership of global ratings agency Fitch Group; Hearst Health, a group of medical information and services businesses; 30 television stations such as WCVB-TV in Boston and KCRA-TV in Sacramento, Calif., which reach a combined 19 percent of U.S. viewers; newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle and Albany Times Union, nearly 300 magazines around the world including Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper's BAZAAR and Car and Driver; digital services businesses such as iCrossing and KUBRA; and investments in emerging digital and video companies such as BuzzFeed, Vice, Complex Networks and AwesomenessTV. Follow us on Twitter @HearstLive and @Hearst, and subscribe toHearstlink.

About Hearst Newspapers

Hearst Newspapers is the operating group responsible for Hearst’s newspapers, local digital marketing services businesses and directories. With more than 4,000 employees across the nation, Hearst Newspapers publishes 19 dailies and 61 weeklies, including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News and Albany Times Union. It also operates digital marketing services and directories businesses under the LocalEdge brand.