In a significant business move for two local media companies with long area connections, Premier Media Group — publisher of South Sound magazine — has announced it has purchased Business Examiner Media, publisher of South Sound BIZ magazine.
“The South Sound business community continues to grow, and we are excited to add a business publication —and the additional assets that accompany it — so we can continue to serve our community the news it desires,” says Premier Media Group president Josh Dunn, who founded the company with his wife, Michelle.
Business Examiner Media was founded in 1985 by husband-and-wife business partners Jeff and Jill Rounce. Jeff was completing a graduate business degree program at Pacific Lutheran University and working in the TV news department at KSTW-TV while he and Jill, parents of three young children, decided to launch the Business Examiner, a bi-weekly tabloid newsprint publication initially focused on the business communities in Tacoma and Pierce County.
“Local business icons like George Russell, George Weyerhaeuser, Paul Titus, Don Rhodes, and dozens more were active in their enterprises and the whole community in the mid-1980s. Not only those individuals, but many of their local organizations, have evolved or are gone now,” recalled Jeff Rounce, who also noted that container ships plying the waters of Commencement Bay were a fairly new business trend.
The Business Examiner later expanded to include much of Thurston, Lewis, Mason, and south King counties. Business Examiner Media also launched a live event series (Financial Executives of the Year, 40 Under Forty, Top Places to Work, and Women of Influence) that celebrated the local business community, as well as the Daily Biz Briefs e-newsletter.
Between 2004 and 2013, Business Examiner Media also partnered with Clover Park Technical College and later, KSTW-TV to co-produce the South Sound Business Report television show.
In 2016, the Business Examiner evolved to become South Sound BIZ, a monthly magazine. In total, Business Examiner Media produced roughly 850 issues of both publications combined over 32-plus years.
“Our plans are to continue, and build upon, the tremendous legacy the Rounces have established with their company over the years,” says Dunn.
Premier Media Group was founded in 2001 and produces three publications: 425, a monthly magazine focused on Eastside lifestyle and entertainment; 425 Business, a monthly magazine focused on Eastside business; and South Sound, a bi-monthly magazine focused on South Sound lifestyle and entertainment.
The company, which employs 35 people and is headquartered in Tacoma’s Old Town neighborhood, also produces a live event series (30 Under 30, IDEA Awards, Best of 425, Best of the South Sound, Women to Watch, and Northwest Idea House) that celebrates the Eastside and South Sound communities.
“We are excited to start a new chapter in the South Sound with a business publication and give South Sound Biz a breath of fresh air similar to our other publications,” added Dunn.