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Trump transfers his ownership of magazine to editor

January 04, 2006|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

HAGERSTOWN

daniels@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown Mayor Richard F. Trump reached an agreement Tuesday to transfer ownership of a Hagerstown magazine to Mary Catherine "Kate" Rader, the magazine's former editor-in-chief and co-publisher.

Rader and the magazine's staff severed ties Dec. 29 with Trump's company and formed a new publishing firm and a new Hagerstown magazine, Rader said.

Rader said as part of the deal announced Tuesday, the terms of which have not been disclosed, Rader's newly formed Ridgerunner Publishing LLC will assume all rights of "Hagerstown: The Best of Life in Washington County," including its name, design, editorial structure, advertiser agreements, subscriber lists and distribution rights.

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Rader had planned to publish a new magazine, "Hagerstown: Living the Good Life in Washington County and Beyond."

"I'm actually very pleased about it, and I think this is really the best thing for the community and the magazine," said Rader, who would not say how much money, if any, changed hands as part of Tuesday's deal.

Trump did not return messages left on his cellular telephones, at his home or at his office at Hagerstown City Hall.

On Dec. 29, Rader and the six other staff members of the Hagerstown magazine announced they had severed their relationship with Trump's Master Marketing Group Inc. in the interest of "the financial health and integrity of the publication and our commitment to quality for the benefit of our readers, advertisers and the community as a whole ."

In the wake of the announcement, Rader said she was proceeding with plans for the new magazine when Trump called her Tuesday and offered to hand over the rights to their former publication.

Rader said she had not been actively negotiating with Trump for the purchase of the magazine and that Trump called her on Tuesday to suggest the transfer.

"We had not been, but today we did finally reach an agreement," she said.

Thomas R. Riford, a member of the Hagerstown magazine's advisory board and president and chief executive officer of the Hagerstown-Washingtion County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said regardless of the circumstances surrounding their split that Rader and Trump deserve credit for developing a magazine highlighting the positive attributes of Washington County.

"I perceive that things are moving forward in a more successful manner with Kate Rader's effort to continue a new Hagerstown magazine as she has," Riford said. "I think Dick Trump started a terrific magazine and Kate has taken that product and embraced it wholeheartedly."

Trump had reached out to at least one other buyer for the magazine before Tuesday's announcement. Tom Gorsline, president and publisher of Diversions Publications Inc., said Trump called him last week about selling the magazine and the two were tentatively scheduled to meet within the next week. Diversions Publications is based in Frederick and publishes Frederick magazine.

Gorsline said he has considered establishing a publication focused on Hagerstown for several years, though he said his primary focus is on the Frederick magazine.

"All I can say, pretty much, is he approached us with an offer," Gorsline said. "It is what we do, so it's something that's natural for us to look into."

Rader said Ridgerunner will only publish one of the magazines, though she has not determined what name it will go by.

Andrea Rowland will serve as managing editor of the magazine, which will have offices at 6 W. Washington St. in Hagerstown. Ryan Harpster will serve as the magazine's art director. Rowland and Harpster are former employees of The Herald-Mail Co.

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