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ESS VENTURES ACQUIRES BALTIMORE MAGAZINE

 ESS VENTURES ACQUIRES BALTIMORE MAGAZINE
 BALTIMORE, May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Susan Souders Obrecht, chairman and


chief executive officer of ESS Ventures, Inc., a media investment and management firm best known for publishing Mid-Atlantic Country magazine, has announced the company's acquisition of Baltimore Magazine, effective immediately.
 The 50,000-circulation monthly was founded in 1967 and has been owned by Capital-Gazette Communications, Inc. of Annapolis, Md., since 1977. The magazine serves the nation's 18th largest market. In the next census, the Washington and Baltimore markets will be combined and ranked as the 4th largest market.
 "This acquisition is right in line with ESS Ventures' strategy for growth," said Obrecht. "Baltimore Magazine is a well-established city book with great potential for expansion, particularly in synergy with Mid-Atlantic Country and other anticipated regional and national magazine acquisitions."
 ESS will debut a new format of the magazine in early fall, building on favorite existing sections and adding new features. Obrecht will serve as publisher and, in keeping with her management style, has surrounded herself with top names from local, regional and national talent pools.
 Eleanor Merrill, president of Capital-Gazette, noted, "We are pleased that Baltimore Magazine will remain in the hands of a strong local company committed to the best interests of the Baltimore area. Susan's team is taking over a quality publication with a large and loyal readership."
 Purchase negotiations involved Capital-Gazette, ESS Ventures and its investors, led by representatives from T. Rowe Price Threshold Fund, based in Baltimore. Admedia Corporate Advisors, Inc., a New York-based financial advisory firm, acted as investment banker for ESS Ventures. Bank financing was provided by Mercantile-Safe Deposit & Trust. No terms are disclosed.
 ESS acquired Mid-Atlantic Country, a regional travel/lifestyle publication, in 1989. The magazine achieved a circulation of more than 120,000 subscribers. From 1988 to 1991, total ad pages increased by 50 percent, during a period when fewer than 10 out of the nation's more than 60 city/regional magazines recorded growth.
 ESS Ventures was formed in 1988 by Obrecht. The company's acquisition of Baltimore Magazine, one of the nation's top 25 city magazines, is a significant milestone in its critical path and in the genre itself. "In the eighties, it was enough for a city magazine to serve as a resource guide; but in the nineties, it must evolve to a more sophisticated level. It's got to involve, influence and challenge its reader," said Obrecht. The company's mission is to build a diverse media company touching points throughout the East Coast.
 -0- 5/7/92
 /CONTACT: Carolyn Bodie of Gray Kirk & VanSant, 410-234-2408, for ESS Ventures/ CO: ESS Ventures, Inc.; Capital-Gazette Communications, Inc. ST: Maryland IN: PUB SU: TNM


CC-JS -- PH023 -- 7755 05/07/92 15:31 EDT
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Date:May 7, 1992
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