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The Martin Group announces strategic equity investment from Hearst Newspapers

5 min read
February 10, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Martin Group, an award-winning, “best-in-class” integrated communications agency, announced today that Hearst Newspapers has finalized a strategic equity investment in the firm. While terms were not disclosed, confirmation of the transaction was made official by Jeff Johnson, president of Hearst Newspapers, and Times Union president and publisher George R. Hearst III.

Founded in 2001, The Martin Group provides research, strategy, analytics, creative, public relations, digital marketing, paid media and advertising and social media solutions to help brands differentiate effectively and tell their unique stories to the world.

While the investment formalizes The Martin Group’s partnership with Hearst, the entities first aligned in 2018, when the agency co-located its Albany, N.Y., offices within the Times Union headquarters. According to Hearst III: “The investment we are making in The Martin Group will help the agency continue to rapidly evolve and expand, while at the same time offer a combined ability to provide customized marketing solutions and strategies that deliver measurable performance for clients across several key service verticals, including sports, healthcare, food and beverage, financial services, education and nonprofits.”

As part of the announcement, founder and majority owner of The Martin Group Tod Martin will assume the role of chairman and chief executive officer of the agency. He will be joined on the firm’s board of directors by the Hearst-appointee, George R. Hearst III. In addition, long-standing agency executives Lisa Strock and Matt Davison have also become investors and equity owners of the firm, with Strock assuming the responsibilities of chief operating officer and Davison handling chief business officer duties.

In alignment with these director and executive appointments, Tim Coppola will retain the role of agency chief financial officer and assume chief administrative officer responsibilities. Dion Pender will maintain a leadership role overseeing the Rochester office specifically.

Hearst Newspapers is the operating group responsible for Hearst’s newspapers, local digital marketing services businesses and directories. With more than 3,000 employees across the nation, Hearst Newspapers publishes 24 dailies and 52 weeklies, including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News. It also operates digital marketing services and directories businesses under the LocalEdge brand.

Some of The Martin Group’s notable clients include Under Armour, Wegmans, New Era Cap, Puma, ASICS and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

About Hearst

Hearst is a leading global, diversified media, information and services company with more than 360 businesses. Its major interests include ownership in cable television networks such as A&E, HISTORY, Lifetime and ESPN; global financial services leader Fitch Group; Hearst Health, a group of medical information and services businesses; transportation assets including CAMP Systems International, a major provider of software-as-a-service solutions for managing maintenance of jets and helicopters; 33 television stations such as WCVB-TV in Boston and KCRA-TV in Sacramento, California, which reach a combined 19 percent of U.S. viewers; newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle and Times Union (Albany, New York); more than 300 magazines around the world, including Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Men’s Health and Car and Driver, and digital services businesses such as iCrossing and KUBRA; and investments in emerging digital entertainment companies such as Complex Networks. Follow us on Twitter @Hearst. To learn more about Hearst, visit our latest Annual Review, “What Connects Us.”

About The Martin Group

The Martin Group is a leading integrated communications firm headquartered in downtown Buffalo with offices in Albany and Rochester, N.Y. The firm works with best-in class organizations ranging from small businesses to global enterprises and has extensive experience in several industry verticals, including sports, healthcare, financial services, food and beverage, education, professional services and not-for-profit support.

Continually recognized for marketing communications excellence by the American Advertising Federation, the American Marketing Association, the Public Relations Society of America and the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, amongst others, the agency has also been selected as a “Top Private Company” and “Fastest Growing Company” by various regional news publications. For more information on The Martin Group, visit martingroup.co, or follow the agency on Twitter @TMGBrandFuel.

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