Wisconsin Firm Buys Hobbies Publisher

January 23, 1991|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff writer

SYKESVILLE — A Wisconsin-based publisher of hobby magazines and books has purchased Greenberg Publishing Co., which publishes books about toy trains and other hobbies.

Greenberg, at 7566 Main St., will continuepublishing under its name and retain its 45 employees, Vice President Linda F. Greenberg said.

She will continue in her position, and her husband, Bruce C. Greenberg, will continue as president, she said.

Kalmbach Publishing Co., based in Waukesha, also purchased Greenberg Shows Inc., which sponsors hobby shows along the East Coast.

Linda Greenberg said she and her husband had not put the business up for sale but had received offers to sell in the last year from several companies.

Neither Greenberg nor Russell G. Larson, an editorial vice president at Kalmbach, would disclose the purchase price. Kalmbach bought the company Jan. 11.

"Our strength is in toy train collector guides," Greenberg said. "Together, we feel we'll be able to really promote our books and their magazines."

Kalmbach's flagship publication is Model Railroader, a monthly magazine with a circulation of 206,000 that has been published since 1933, Larson said. The company also publishes the bimonthly magazine, Classic Toy Trains.

Greenberg Publishing, founded in 1975, has 60 books in print, Greenberg said. Most of the books are guides for toy train collectors that describe the trains and their worth, she said.

The two companies will coordinate their publishing costs and advertising and mailing lists, she said. Greenberg Publishing has a mailing list of 70,000 names, she said.

"We'll be able to more efficiently produce our various publications," Greenberg said.

Larson said Kalmbach, which publishes 16 magazines, will use its magazinesto promote Greenberg's books and will promote both the magazines andbooks at the hobby shows.

Greenberg's Great Train, Dollhouse and Toy Show takes place 20 times a year, from Massachusetts to Florida, Greenberg said.

Bruce Greenberg said in a press release that by joining with Kalmbach, "we will be able to publish more books and more effectively market them as well as increase the number ofshows sponsored in the United States."

Kalmbach has purchased three similar magazine publishers in the last five years, Larson said. Greenberg is its first book publisher. Kalmbach has subsidiariesin Chantilly, Va., and Appleton, Wis., and about 200 employees, he said.

Linda Greenberg said she and her husband have 2 -year contracts with Kalmbach, but expect to stay with the company longer.

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