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Metro Group acquires H&K publisher

Metro Group Inc., publisher of the Metro Community News weeklies, has bought H&K Publications Inc., the company that publishes the Hamburg Sun, Springville Journal, and seven PennySaver papers in communities south of Buffalo.

The price of the deal was undisclosed.

H&K papers have about 100 employees and combined weekly circulation of 103,000, including the subscription-based Sun and Journal, according to the company.

The acquisition gives Cheektowaga-based Metro a weekly circulation reach of about 385,000 households across five counties, the company said, and employment of about 170 full-time equivalent positions.

"We are inheriting some significant skills with H&K employees," Metro President Bernard Bradpiece said.

Combining the two groups' operations will help their papers succeed in an increasingly competitive market for advertising dollars, he said.

Metro was the largest publisher of weeklies and H&K the second-largest in Western New York, according to Metro.

Metro Group expects to retain H&K's workers and continue its commercial printing and Web site businesses at and, he said.

The acquired papers will keep their present names and will be printed on Metro's press in Cheektowaga.

Owned by Delaware-based Strategic Publications, Metro Group distributes free papers in 20 communities in Erie and Niagara counties.

H&K's PennySaver papers appear in Allegany-Olean, Arcade, Blasdell-Lackawanna, Hamburg, Cuba-Franklinville, Gowanda and Springville.

The owners of H&K, brothers Tom, Steve and Chuck Kluckhone, decided there were too many children in their family's next generation to inherit the business.

"Selling H&K was a difficult decision for my brothers and me," president Tom Kluckhone said in a statement. His grandmother Lucylle Haws began the company with the Hamburg PennySaver in 1939. The Hamburg Sun dates back further, to 1875.

Bradpiece wouldn't discuss the financial terms of the deal. Members of the Kluckhone family were unavailable to comment.

"It took us a long time to do this deal," Bradpiece said. The Kluckhone family "was checking us out."


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