Acquisition Brings Together Community Banking Media Companies

NFR Communications, Inc., publisher of BankBeat magazine and provider of communication services to the commercial banking industry, has acquired BankNews Media in a deal that brings together two media companies that each have more than a century of history. The deal closed May 28.

“We are very bullish on B2B niche media,” commented Tom Bengtson, president of NFR Communications. “BankNews Media has been a long-time formidable competitor and we look forward to integrating its staff, publications and services into NFR Communications. The companies complement each other very well and we expect immediate benefits from resulting synergies.”

Tom Bengtson

Joe and Janet Holman, owners of BankNews Media, agree that the combined companies will provide enhanced services. “This is a beneficial transaction for bankers and the communities they serve throughout the country,” Janet Holman said. The Holmans have owned BankNews Media since 2009, purchasing the company from Pam Baker, the widow of former publisher Bill Baker, who passed away suddenly in 2003 at age 52.

Prior to its rebrand in September 2018, BankBeat magazine was published under the banner NorthWestern Financial Review. In addition, NFR Communications publishes, is a content provider to the community banking industry and manages the Bank Holding Company Association. NFR Communications is based in Minneapolis, Minn.

BankNews Media, based in Roeland Park, Kan., publishes BankNews magazine, bank directories for states in New England, the heartland, the mountain west and south, and provides customized publishing services to numerous state bankers associations around the country, including Florida, Missouri, Kansas, New Jersey, Maine and Washington.

NFR Communications partnered with Central Financial Services, Naples, Fla., to facilitate the transaction; terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“The most important thing is that we are going to be able to deepen our service to the banking industry with the combined talent, skill and experience of the staff at the two companies,” Bengtson said. “BankNews Media offers tremendous expertise in editorial, design, administration, sales and data management that will beautifully complement the five-person staff in the Twin Cities.” Bengtson said the company anticipates maintaining offices in both the Kansas City and Minneapolis areas.

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