SEAFORD — The Sussex Printing Corp., longtime publisher of regional classified and advertising publication The Guide, has been sold to a multi-state media company focused on acquiring local-recognized brands.
O’Rourke Media Group acquired the company, including its plant in Seaford, The Guide and its associated website as of March 31. The property sale was recorded at $1 million, according to Sussex County deeds. O’Rourke Media Group took over the company as of April 1 and retained the existing 50 employees.
“I’m excited to welcome The Guide and all of their employees into our company,” O’Rourke Media Group CEO Jim O’Rourke said in a statement. “As I studied this Delmarva market and got to know Amy and Tim, the current owners, I just got more and more excited about this company. The Guide has a strong brand and aligns nicely to our growth strategy as it relates to print advertising, printing & design, and digital. We’re charged up to work with the team on expanding our digital business and agency in the state of Delaware, and we love the market’s proximity to Philadelphia, South New Jersey and Maryland.”
O’Rourke Media Group currently operates in six states with a full-service digital agency and 23 publications and hyperlocal websites. Since launching in 2018, the company owns assets, including many community newspapers in Arizona, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Minnesota and Vermont.
Outlined on its website, the O’Rourke Media Group’s business strategy is to transition local community newspapers and publications to an online platform. Its primary source of revenue is selling print and digital advertising and marketing solutions to local businesses. Target acquisitions include companies with established brands, positive cash flow and a healthy base of advertisers.
Founded in 1959, Sussex Printing Corp. It is a full-service, family-owned printing company, handling products that range from business cards, brochures, contracts, menus, books and more. It also serves as a weekly classified advertiser on the Delmarva peninsula through its two publications: The Guide and The Maryland Guide. Both publications are delivered to 1,500 locations across both Delaware and Maryland.
Amy Higgins, who owned the Sussex Printing Corp. with Timothy E. Ayers, was the third-generation owner of the business until the sale. In a 2016 interview with the Delaware Business Times, Higgins acknowledged that many of the Sussex Printing Corp.’s advertisers “held prime page positions every week for nearly 30 years,” indicating The Guide’s strength in the southern Delaware market.