Swift Communications acquires the Big Nickel
The Big Nickel has a new owner.
Swift Communications in early January acquired the venerable Big Nickel free classified shopper from the ownership group of the Sparks Tribune. The Big Nickel is distributed to more than 500 locations in northern Nevada and eastern California and is viewed by more than 150,000 readers each week.
Swift Communications Chief Financial Officer Bill Waters led the acquisition, which began to take shape in late 2013. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
“We have a longtime friendly rapport with the former owners of the Big Nickel and have talked from time to time over the years about various possibilities,” Waters says. “We’ve always admired the success of the Big Nickel and the specific niche audience that it serves. We revived those conversations several months ago and it became apparent that the time was right for both companies to move forward with a deal.”
Waters says Swift Communications has no plans to acquire the Sparks Tribune, which has been in publication since 1910. The Big Nickel is a natural tie-in to existing publications within Swift’s Sierra Nevada Media Group, Waters notes. Those publications include Northern Nevada Business Weekly, Nevada Appeal, Gardnerville Record-Courier and Lahontan Valley News.
“The Big Nickel is a very good adjacency to the publications and products of the Sierra Nevada Media Group in Northern Nevada,” he says. “It extends the audience reach for classified customers in a very effective and efficient way. And, similarly, the Sierra Nevada Media group publications extend the reach for Big Nickel customers.”
Two Big Nickel employees were hired by Swift Communications and will work from the offices of Northern Nevada Business Weekly at 5355 Kietzke Lane, Ste. 100. They will report to Alsy Brinkmeyer, manager of the Big Nickel and Sierra Nevada Media Group classified advertising.
The Big Nickel last week began its print run at Swift’s Carson City headquarters on Mallory Way. The shopper, which advertises everything from used cars to jobs to real estate, runs counter to many print publication’s struggles with low and reduced advertising revenues by focusing on a targeted, niche audience that marries advertising customers and consumers with specific needs, Waters says.
On April 1, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak formally issued a “Stay at Home” directive for Nevadans and extended closures of nonessential businesses, gambling and school closures to April 30.