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Alton-based Big Z Media acquires Today’s Advantage

Today’s Advantage, the local weekly shopper that has published continuously since 1986, has been acquired by Alton-based Big Z Media, the companies announced today.

Big Z is the umbrella organization for radio stations WBGZ 1570 AM and 107.1 FM and MyMix 94.3 and 92.3 HD3, news website, and digital marketing offerings through Big Z Digital.

Big Z Media owner Sam Stemm says bringing the Advantage into the Big Z Media family is a natural.

“Adding a print publication to our outstanding advertising opportunities in radio, streaming audio, and our on-line offerings is an added benefit to our advertising partners and those of the Advantage. The synergies between the various platforms will bring added value to local businesses as they strive to maximize the impact of their advertising investments.”

Nick Darr, vice president and general manager of Big Z Media says he’s excited to merge the two operations for the benefit of the community. “The ability to consolidate two successful locally owned and operated media organizations will be a challenge, but keeping the local focus will be a benefit to the local economy.”

Eric McRoy, general manager of the Advantage, says that combining the two operations is something he and Darr have envisioned for some time now.

“Nick and I have known each other for years, we’ve respected each other as business competitors, and we’ve always felt that if we could find a way to work together, it would be a great benefit to this, our home community. With this merger, we’ve brought that vision to realization,” McRoy (right) said.

Darr (left) says the Advantage staff will be retained with McRoy coming aboard to manage the print operation.

“There will be a great deal of continuity as the Advantage becomes part of the Big Z Media operation. Eric will bring his print expertise to our organization, and together, with our staff, we will evolve all or our products to bring added value to our local advertising partners.”

The Advantage will continue to be published monthly and mailed to every household in the River Bend and Jersey County. River Bend is represented by numerous communities in and around Alton. will be upgraded with Advantage advertisers receiving added value with placement in the area’s premier on-line local news website.

In addition, a daily email publication will be initiated so those who desire can receive local news and advertising in their email inbox at no charge.

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